Severe Malaria - A Research and Trials consortium

Can we improve outcomes from severe malaria by conducting better research studies faster?

What is this study about?

This programme is made up of several different studies all with the aim of optimising the treatment pathway for children with severe malaria from the hospital entrance to survival six months post discharge, and hence improving their outcomes in the current era.

The key components are:

  1. An observational study to characterise the diagnostic and treatment pathway for children currently suffering from severe malaria (as cases) and compare this to those without severe malaria (controls). This will also be a comprehensive data platform to use as a resource for determining the relative burden and clinical spectra of severe malaria in children in hospitals in Africa.
  2. To help develop and evaluate a point-of-care quantitative plasma Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein2 (pfHRP2) test for estimating total body parasite burden, which could be used to swiftly identify those at greatest risk of poor outcomes.
  3. Evaluating a low-tech ‘iron-lung’ as a mechanism to augment biphasic (inspiration and expiration) breathing and prevent the most common cause of death in children with cerebral malaria (respiratory arrest).
  4. Conducting Phase II studies in adjunctive therapies targeting different presentations of severe malaria such as cerebral malaria, blackwater fever, renal impairment and acidosis to identify the most effective interventions to take forward into a large Phase III trial.

Contact details

Who is funding the study?

This research programme is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

When is it taking place?

The programme began in January 2019 and will run until December 2025.

Where is it taking place?

Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya and Ghana.

Who is included?

Each individual trial or study has their own inclusion criteria but the programme overall is looking at children with severe malaria presenting to hospital in Africa.