The Executive Director of the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID) and Professor of Genetics at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has gained the renewal of his Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship for the next five years which will continue to support his work within LSTM’s Department of Vector Biology and at the CRID.
The grant titled “Molecular basis of the escalation of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors and its impact on malaria control” is worth over £2 million, and will cover research carried out both within LSTM and CRID.
This renewal comes in time when CRID is committed to ascertaining genetic ways through which mosquitoes are becoming super-resistant to insecticides and develop new tools in tackling insecticide resistance which is a major barrier to effective malaria control.
According to Prof Charles Wondji, recent disturbing evidence shows that resistance is getting worse, which could lead to extensive loss of protection from mosquito bed nets.
“It is of urgent importance to understand how mosquitoes become super-resistant and design the tools to help prevent such operationally threatening resistance spreading Africa-wide” He adds.
With the renewal of this project, LSTM in collaboration with the vector biology team at CRID will also intensify field studies to establish the extent to which this super-resistance is reducing the efficacy of insecticide-treated nets and thereby contributing to the increase in malaria cases being reported in Africa.
The end result of the research at CRID through this programme is to appeal to decision makers with evidenced-based research which will influence decisions as far as vector control is concerned.
“The crucial knowledge and tools that this project will generate will help control programmes in Africa to design rational, evidence-based resistance management strategies against this major malaria vector” Prof Charles Wondji reiterates