Boost for regional infectious diseases collaboration

Boost for regional infectious diseases collaboration

 Illuminate newsletter, December 2017
December 2017

Dr Diana Hansen and Professor Alan Cowman
(L-R) Dr Diana Hansen and Professor Alan Cowman.

Dr Diana Hansen and Professor Alan Cowman are leading an international collaboration to tackle malaria and dengue fever in the Asia-Pacific.

The researchers have received more than $379,000 in funding from the Australian Government’s Regional Collaborations Programme.

Over three years, the grant will enable teams from Australia, Indonesia and Japan to study critical immune responses and targets of protective immunity to help develop antimalarial vaccines.

A shared goal to eliminate malaria

Dr Hansen said the production of an antimalarial vaccine would be the most cost-effective means to address the shared challenge that malaria poses to the region.

“We will also identify host genes involved in the development of haemorrhagic dengue fever to help find treatments for severe cases,” she said.

About malaria

Malaria causes more than 120,000 deaths in South-East Asia each year and dengue fever is one of the region’s most common mosquito-borne viral diseases. There has been an increase in both local and imported dengue cases in Australia since 2010.

The malaria lifecycle

Super Content: 
Malaria parasite in the bloodstream

Visualisation of the parasite infection inside a pregnant female mosquito.

Close up view of pipetting in lab

We have developed the first malaria vaccine that can be tailored to match many different strains of malaria.