Malaria is caused by the parasitic protozoan Plasmodium. It is a vector-borne disease which is transmitted from person to person via bites from infected mosquitoes. Following a mosquito bite the parasites multiply in the liver and subsequently infect red blood cells.
People living in the poorest countries are the most vulnerable. The disease causes a number of non-specific symptoms including fever, headache, and vomiting. Left untreated, the disease can cause severe complications and death.
Control measures include use of insecticide-treated bednets and indoor residual spraying with insecticide – both of these methods target the mosquito vector.
Malaria is usually treated with antimalarial drugs (e.g, artemisinin-based combination therapies, ACTs). However, in many parts of the world the parasites have developed resistance to certain antimalarials.
TDR related research
TDR supports research in the following areas:
- Community-based interventions
- Community case management of malaria
- Integrated community case management of childhood illness
- Rapid diagnostic tests
- Rectal artesunate testing and delivery
- Safety of drugs in pregnancy
More information about our activities relating to malaria:
Nobel prize for discoveries on malaria, onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis
Strengthening safety surveillance in seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaigns in Africa
A career investigating malaria parasite drug resistance
New guide for strengthening community health care worker programmes
Biosafety for human health and the environment in the context of the potential use of genetically modified mosquitoes (GMMs)
Microscopy for the detection, identification and quantification of malaria parasites on stained thick and thin blood films in research settings
The Guidance Framework for testing genetically modified mosquitoes
WHO informal consultation on fever management in peripheral health care settings: A global review of evidence and practice