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Challenges and prospects for malaria elimination in the Greater Mekong Subregion

  • Author(s): Cui, L
  • Yan, G
  • Sattabongkot, J
  • Chen, B
  • Cao, Y
  • Fan, Q
  • Parker, D
  • Sirichaisinthop, J
  • Su, XZ
  • Yang, H
  • Yang, Z
  • Wang, B
  • Zhou, G
  • et al.

Despite significant improvement in the malaria situation of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), malaria control for the region continues to face a multitude of challenges. The extremely patchy malaria distribution, especially along international borders, makes disease surveillance and targeted control difficult. The vector systems are also diverse with dramatic differences in habitat ecology, biting behavior, and vectorial capacity, and there is a lack of effective transmission surveillance and control tools. Finally, in an era of heavy deployment of artemisinin-based combination therapies, the region acts as an epicenter of drug resistance, with the emergence of artemisinin resistant Plasmodium falciparum posing a threat to both regional and global malaria elimination campaigns. This problem is further exacerbated by the circulation of counterfeit and substandard artemisinin drugs. Accordingly, this Southeast Asian Malaria Research Center, consisting of a consortium of US and regional research institutions, has proposed four interlinked projects to address these most urgent problems in malaria control. The aims of these projects will help to substantially improve our understanding of malaria epidemiology, vector systems and their roles in malaria transmission, as well as the mechanisms of drug resistance in parasites. Through the training of next-generation scientists in malaria research, this program will help build up and strengthen regional research infrastructure and capacities, which are essential for sustained malaria control in this region. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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