Current advances in the application of OMICS technologies against malaria

Document Type : Review Article


Department of Applied Microbiology and Brewing, State University of Medical and Applied Sciences, Enugu, Nigeria


Background: Malaria is an infectious disease caused by intracellular parasites of the genus Plasmodium. Despite being preventable and treatable, malaria remains one of the major health problems in sub-Saharan Africa. Plasmodium falciparum is the most prevalent malaria parasite in the African continent. It is responsible for most malaria related deaths globally. Plasmodium vivax is the dominant malaria parasite in most countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa. A complete understanding of the biology of malaria parasites is challenging in view of their need to switch between the vertebrate and insect hosts. Although knowledge of genomic sequences for the malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, have helped to advance our understanding of malaria biology, simply knowing this sequence information has not yielded  many  new interventions to reduce the burden of malaria. Application of Omics technologies in the fight against malaria will significantly advance our understanding of parasite biology and knowledge about parasite genetic diversity which can be used to aid discovery of vulnerable targets for intervention strategies, such as drugs, vaccines or insecticides, and to identify biomarkers for diagnosis, surveillance and monitoring of malaria infections in humans or mosquitoes. In this review, current information of how the knowledge of omics technologies is applied in the fight against malaria is provided.


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