The research at our unit at Karolinska Institutet revolves around chemotherapy approaches for the management of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The group has been testing major artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) through efficacy and effectiveness clinical trials in Africa.
The unit operationality is based on close interaction between medical doctors dedicated to field clinical research with a team of molecular biologists focused on understanding the molecular basis and mechanisms of parasite drug resistance.
Accordingly, the group has been pioneering studies on the pfmdr1 and pfcrt genes in the context of ACT, and demonstrated the selection of single nucleotide polymorphisms in these loci upon drug administration. Recently, we have shown the involvement of the transmembrane transporter pfMRP1 as a novel factor involved in antimalarial drug sensitivity or tolerance.
The above studies are are part of our vision and desire to achieve the elimination of malaria from large regions of Africa in the future. This is reflected by our research project on the Zanzibari islands, demonstrating the power of the impact of ACT in a hyperendemic malaria setting.
The unit keeps evolving and incorporating new molecular approaches and tools and novel clinical trials designs. This is supported by our network of collaborations in East and West Africa and also Northern laboratories from Europe, the United States, and Japan.