It's World Malaria Day! As experts on malaria at the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research at Seattle Children's Research Institute, we are here to answer your questions and help raise awareness about this deadly disease. Ask us anything!
Update: we're signing off for now, but will check back later and answer any remaining questions throughout the day. Thank you so much for joining us!
A bit about malaria: Humans get malaria from mosquitoes that carry Plasmodium parasites, the deadliest of which is P. falciparum. The parasite travels to the liver, where it multiplies and then breaks out into the blood stream to cause disease.
• In 2017, nearly half of the world's population was at risk of malaria. 219 million people contracted the disease and 435,000 people died of it • Some population groups are at considerably higher risk of contracting malaria, and developing severe disease, than others. These include infants, children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and patients with HIV/AIDS, as well as non-immune migrants, mobile populations and travelers. • Changing weather conditions across the globe are causing mosquitoes to migrate to new places, bringing the threat of malaria along with them.
More malaria facts at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malaria More info on the global spread of malaria: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/03/28/707604928/chart-where-disease-carrying-mosquitoes-will-go-in-the-future
Who we are: Alexis Kaushansky, PhD (@kaushans). I run a lab at the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research, which is focused on discovering how pathogens, such as malaria, interact with their human host and using this knowledge to eliminate infection. Here’s a link to a Q&A about some of my lab’s most recent findings. https://scienceinseattle.com/2019/03/22/alterations-in-phosphorylation-of-hepatocyte-ribosomal-protein-s6-control-plasmodium-liver-stage-infection/
Ashley Vaughan, PhD. My lab at the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research researches how to elicit the most protective immune response after vaccination with genetically attenuated parasites (GAP). Here’s a short, animated video explaining GAP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdpYA6FovHU
Maria Bernabeu, PhD (@marietabernabeu). As a member of the Smith Lab at the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research, I am trying to understand the mechanisms that cause severe malaria I’m working on a 3D-microvascular platform to study how P. falciparum interacts with the brain blood vessels. Here’s a short video about our work with cerebral malaria, which primarily affects children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxjyCA0PAXs
The Center for Global Infectious Disease has 7 labs and more than 50 scientists working in collaboration to find ways to eradicate malaria. For more information about our research, visit our website: Center for Global Infectious Disease Research at https://www.seattlechildrens.org/research/centers-programs/global-infectious-disease-research/research-areas-and-labs.