Berlin team in Mangaluru to study rising Malaria cases

To make a study on reason for increase in malaria cases in Mangaluru in particular, a team of experts from Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin will conduct a research in Mangaluru.

The research will be carried out in association with Wenlock Hospital, Karnataka Institute for DNA Research, Dharwad, and officials from Malaria control cell.

Prof Frank Mockenhaupt said the team will assess the cause for increase in malaria and risk factors involved in increase in malaria cases.

The corelation between malaria and genetic predisposition will also be studied. Genetic predisposition is a genetic characteristic which influences the possible phenotypic development of an individual organism within a species or population under the influence of environmental condition.The research will commence within two to three weeks and will last for five to six months. It will look into those who are affected.

“We have been carrying out research in African countries especially Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda on increase in malaria cases for the last 15 years. We have found that about 25 per cent of  the people were suseptible to malaria due to malaria trait.”

Prabhanjan Gai, PhD student, research group, Malaria and Infectious Diseases Epidemiology said the study will look into why people in Mangaluru are suseptible to Malaria. It will also make a study on resistance of malaria paradise towards drugs. In fact, research in Cambodia have revealed that parasites have developed resistance to drugs.

The study will provide a new intervention towards treatment of malaria affected people. District Malaria Control Officer Dr Arun Kumar will help the team in collecting patient’s sample for the research. Other member in the team of experts is Kourad Seigert, a doctoral student.
In fact, Mangaluru city had witnessed resurgence of malaria since 1990-91. The surge in malaria was largely attributed to increased urbanisation and increase in construction activities that brought in migrant labour from other parts of Karnataka.

Over a period of time, in spite of awareness drive carried out by the health officials, the malaria continue to haunt the region.

Health officials in Mangaluru feel that the increase appears to have a correlation with increase in the construction activity that picks up during the monsoon period in Mangalore with availability of water for curing concrete structures.

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