Malaria infects several hundred million people worldwide each year, and kills at least one million. About 80% of all deaths caused by malaria are of children under the age of five. Malaria in an immune compromised person by measles or under nutrition can be especially dangerous. Malaria during pregnancy can be fatal for the mother and child. Many of the key anti-malarial drugs are becoming ineffective due to the spread of resistance.
The Centre for Global Health Research seeks to understand more fully pathways to infection, our immune response and strategies for prevention and cure.
For example, the malaria parasite contains a mitochondrion, as well as a remnant chloroplast called the apicoplast. The apicoplast is no longer able to carry out photosynthesis, yet is essential for the parasite's survival.
Understanding the function of these essential organelles is key to developing new anti-malarial drugs.