Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Yale: Will Join Institut Pasteur to Lead New Malaria Research Group

A new 4-year research group is being set up at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar and started in early February following the agreement signed between the Pasteur Institute and the AUF (Agence universitaire de la francophonie). In collaboration with the Yale School of Public Health and entitled ” Malaria Experimental Genetic Approaches and Vaccines “, it will be led by Dr. Amy Kristine Bei, associate professor at Yale School of Public Health. The goal of this 4-year research group (G4) is to understand the interaction between parasite diversity and immune selection, and to use this knowledge to determine the best candidate vaccines.

Funded jointly by the Institut Pasteur and AUF (Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie), this G4 will target two complementary aspects of research applied to the discovery and development of vaccine candidates. The first approach is to test monoclonal antibodies against circulating parasites in the blood that contribute to the disease in Senegal. The goal is to better understand how parasite diversity influences immune responses and to identify naturally occurring neutralizing antibodies.

Senegal is indeed the ideal setting for conducting this research. In recent years, malaria transmission has declined dramatically in many parts of the country, limiting the number of types of parasites in circulation. The fact that individuals are infected with a single parasite strain makes genotype-phenotype association studies feasible. By working in different regions more or less affected by malaria, it is also possible to study this parasitic diversity.