Ivo Mueller-Projects

Ivo Mueller-Projects


The epidemiology of malaria transmission in four non-African settings

With the renewed focus on elimination, a better understanding of the processes involved human-to-vector transmission are essential. By combining state-of-the-art cohort studies with sensitive molecular detection of both blood-stage parasites and gametocytes and membrane feeding studies, we are determining the extend of the asymptomatic, infectious P. falciparum and P. vivax reservoir in moderate, low and very low transmission setting in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Thailand and Brazil. Using newly obtained P. vivax and existing P. falciparum gametocyte transcriptome data we are also developing novel markers for gametocyte detection and genotyping.

Team members: Cristian Koepfli, Leanne Robinson, Stephan Karl, Rhea Longley, Eline Kattenberg, Cyrille Czeher, Andreea Waltmann, Elisheba Malau

The molecular epidemiology of Plasmodium vivax

The defining characteristic of P. vivax is it ability to cause relapsing infections form long-lasting, dormant liver stages called hypnozoites. By selectively removing hypnozoites from randomly selected PNG children, we have shown that these stages account for 80 per cent of P. vivax infections, episodes and transmission. We are developing novel molecular makers that can differentiate between relapses and now infections in cohort studies. In parallel, we are using statistical models to study within host, clonal dynamics individual P. vivax and are developing mathematical models of P. vivax relapses.

Team members: Leanne Robinson, Stephan Karl, Celine Barnadas, Cristian Koepfli, Eline Kattenberg, Andreea Waltmann, Yiwan Quah.

Discovery and validation of antigens as markers of recent exposure to Plasmodium vivax

We arescreening antibodies to P. vivax protein fragment in samples collected after a P. vivax infections using protein microarray and a specifically developed system. The antigens with the best kinetic proteins will then be validated in longitudinal cohort studies in Thailand, Brazil, PNG and the Solomon Islands.

Team members: Connie Liwaisuen, Rhea Longley, Camila Franca, Leanne Robinson, Suparat Phuanukoonnon, Jessica Brewster.


South west Pacific international centre of excellence in malaria research

The last 10 years have seen a dramatic reduction in malaria burden associated with intensifying malaria control activities in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Using a combination of cohort and repeated cross-sectional studies in three sites with differing transmission intensities we are studying how the introduction in insecticide treated net and artemisinin-combination treatment has impacted the age specific burden of malaria, the risk of infections and transmission as well as the natural acquisition of immunity.

Team members: Leanne Robinson, Cristian Koepfli, Celine Barnadas, Eline Kattenberg, Andreea Waltmann, Yiwan Quah, Elisheba Malau.