Parasites that cause malaria revealed inside and outside of red blood cells using a fluorescent protein; the blood cells appear grey and the parasites are green.

Tony Holder : Malaria Parasitology Laboratory

We are studying the parasite that causes malaria so that we can develop better ways to treat or prevent the disease.

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that invade red blood cells, transmitted through infected mosquito bites. Once inside a red blood cell, the parasite multiplies many times before bursting out and infecting new host cells in the blood.

The malaria parasite goes through several different forms during its life cycle in the bloodstream, each with its own unique characteristics. We want to find out more about the molecular makeup of each of these different stages and understand more about how the immune system reacts to the parasite.

We can then use this information to develop new drugs and vaccines that are specifically designed to target key points in the parasite’s life to treat or prevent infection. Malaria is a major health burden in many countries, particularly in Africa, so finding more effective targeted treatments for malaria would save many lives and bring big benefits to millions of people around the world.