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BIOMALPAR Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 503578
Financé au titre de: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH
Pays: France

Final Report Summary - BIOMALPAR (Biology and Pathology of the Malaria Parasite)

Malaria is a parasitic disease causing a major public health problem in more than 90 countries inhabited by some 2 400 million people (40 % of the world's population). Malaria is estimated to cause up to 500 million clinical cases and over one million deaths each year, most of them children under five. In Africa, malaria is the leading cause of death among young children, killing a child every 30 seconds. Today, malaria is also spreading in to new areas, such as Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. More people are now dying of malaria than thirty years ago. Among the factors contributing to the raise of the mortality, they are the spreading of drug resistant parasite and insecticide resistant mosquitoes. The recent successes in characterising genomes of Plasmodium sp. malaria parasites and their hosts provide a unique opportunity for developing novel strategies to control malaria. The size and complexity of this task require a concerted effort that no one laboratory, or even institution, has the resources or expertise to accomplish alone.

BIOMALPAR gathered the major leading European centres working in molecular and cellular biology of malaria. The consortium included 17 research institutes and universities from 7 European countries as well as 3 African partners from malaria-endemic regions (Mali, Sudan and Uganda). Altogether the project assembled a large scientific community, that sought to organise itself into a coherent research area through structured personnel exchanges, shared resources and infrastructures, and joint research activities.

One the objectives of this project was to decipher the basic mechanisms of pathogenesis and crucial parasite specific pathways. Since molecular research opens up novel avenues in the analysis of hosts and vector, this will undoubtedly induce the emergence of novel technologies and molecules that are novel targets for intervention strategies.

Since its foundation, BIOMALPAR has jumped many hurdles:
- it has created greater transparency in European malaria research activities;
it has significantly increased the coordination of new collaborative projects between institutional laboratories within Europe and with African partners. Many new grand applications have been catalysed through BIOMALPAR meetings;
- it has decreased redundancy in the research agenda and significantly raised complimentary grants;
- it has trained a new generation of students familiar with state of the art malaria research.

BIOMALPAR has become a cornerstone in the European malaria research and is now renowned in the scientific community for its outstanding activities. Europe is now recognised as the world leader in the biology of the malaria parasite.

The members of the executive committee have built on the momentum created by the project to sustain its activity into the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). It is clear that additional support is needed to maintain the high profile this network and to achieve the ultimate goal of the consortium, a European malaria graduate school and a virtual European malaria institute.

Conceptually, great advances have been made at several levels, new parasite molecules have been discovered with a high potential for antimalarial therapy. Some of them are now investigated as drug targets and are supported by international grants. Other molecules are and now in the pipeline for vaccine development. The networks research can be can be considered as an important motor that continually fills the various pipelines of new intervention strategies against this deadly disease through cutting edge discovery.

Informations connexes

Reported by

Institut Pasteur
25-28 rue du Docteur Roux
75724 Paris
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