PlasmoTrack: Spatiotemporal Tracking of Malaria Parasites

Investigator: Bryan R. Greenhouse, MD
Sponsor: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Location(s): Tanzania; China


Goals: Characterize imported malaria & local patterns of transmission. PlasmoTrack: Spatiotemporal Tracking of Malaria Parasites-a series of microsatellites, utilizes short DNA repeats, to track individual transmissions of parasites in two regions close to malaria elimination. This approach will provide insight into parasite transmission networks and help to guide future malaria eradication efforts. Plasmotrack has been collecting positive malaria case samples and travel history since May 2010. In 2011 the project was  amended to obtain household-level geo-positioning data in shehias that sustained positive cases during the dry season. The  hypothesis is that these shehias may serve as potential reservoirs for the malaria parasite, and through their identification more targeted active surveillance can occur. 
 The mapping project had the following objectives: 
 -Provide precise, sub-shehia level information on transmission foci during the dry season (potential reservoirs) and during the wet season (potential “hot spots” for transmission) for use in local targeting of proactive interventions in future years. 
 -To provide precise, sub-shehia level information on malaria cases in real-time, as a way to follow-up on ZMCP’s proactive interventions in three shehias surrounding the Jendele health facility. 
 -Improve ZMCP capacity for mapping and GIS-related activities 
 -Assist with the implementation of household identifier cards to more quickly and efficiently register the location of active malaria cases.