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CTU underpins many of the clinical malaria studies conducted by MORU by conducting preliminary PK or safety studies. CTU will continue to evaluate new and existing antimalarial drugs in order to improve the treatment of malaria.

The RTS, S/AS01 vaccine and adjuvant and a CTU nurse with a volunteer
The RTS, S/AS01 vaccine and adjuvant (left) and a CTU nurse with a volunteer

Evaluation of a pyronaridine based TACT will begin in 2019 after completion of the artemether-lumefantrine-amodiaquine studies. The ascending dose primaquine study is challenging as it intends to produce controlled haemolysis to avoid precipitous haemolysis in G6PD deficiency (fighting fire with fire), but could lead to a radical cure regimen which obviates G6PD testing. These studies are progressing well.

The main “challenge” of the next two years is to prepare for controlled human infections with P. vivax. This will accelerate substantially both drug and vaccine research.

Our analytical group are tackling the biology of vivax relapse (the main cause of vivax illness), trying to understand the basis of relapse periodicity. We hope this will inform treatment strategies and elimination efforts. We are also studying the potential protective role of anaemia in severe malaria, which may lead to revision in severe malaria criteria and inform transfusion policies. We are applying for funding to study the potential for artificial intelligence to develop a smart phone app to recognise severe illness in remote settings.