Header Project D1

Genetic Diversity and Population Genetic Modeling

The Genetic Diversity and Population Genetic Modeling Group leverages population genetic variation for threat detection, including drug resistance and diagnostic failure, and for transmission surveillance for tracking infections and to evaluate the consequence of intervention use. Along with collaborators in Senegal and partners, we are benchmarking genetic metrics of risk and transmission across transmission strata to create integrated datasets that include epidemiological and entomological metrics of transmission for modeling to derive recommendations for programmatic planning and outcome analysis in partnership with the Senegal National Malaria Control Program.

Active threat detection, including surveillance for known loci of drug resistance and use of evolution to detect emerging drug resistance threats is ongoing with partners in Senegal [LINK]. Other threats, including diagnostic failure due to hrp2/3 gene deletion and vector threats including insecticide resistance monitoring, and vector species dynamics including Anopheles stephensi in Senegal are also ongoing.

Population genetic variation patterns over time can be used to infer transmission dynamics or assess the impact of interventions. Parasite relatedness and metrics of co-transmission or superinfection are being used to infer transmission patterns and identify imported infections. We observe different genetic patterns when transmission becomes low, including evidence of clonal parasites that persist from one transmission season to the next, as well as patterns of genetic relatedness that suggest importation of infections related to human mobility. We observe distinct patterns of parasite relatedness at sites with similar incidence levels, indicating that genetic information about infections can help identify transmission trends and guide intervention stratification.