Approximately 200 million clinical cases of malaria are treated globally each year. Artemisinin derivatives are the first line treatment for falciparum malaria. Alarmingly, resistance to these drugs has emerged in Southeast Asia, jeopardizing malaria control. This research program brings together advanced statistical and mathematical modelling approaches with the aim of improving treatment outcomes for malaria patients.
Mathematical models integrating blood antimalarial drug concentrations with the parasite-time profile of an infected individual provide an avenue to studying drug action. Within this program of research, novel mathematical models for antimalarial drugs that account for the drug action against sensitive and resistant strains, and host immunity, will be developed, followed by the application of Bayesian methods to validate these models against data from controlled human malaria infection studies and multinational clinical trials. A simulation-based approach (see our online tool for interactive simulations of patient parasite profiles following malaria treatments http://lab.qmalaria.org/shiny/appTACT/) will then be implemented to determine optimal dosing regimens, and the findings communicated to the World Health Organization and our regional partners.
Other team members: Louise Marquart, Tharkeshi Thanuja