PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre Spotlight Series
Reference Number: MEX-29
Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Training on Malaria Microscopy Diagnosis
Institution: Laboratorio de Paludismo, Departamento de Parasitología, Instituto de Diagnóstico y Referencia Epidemiológicos (InDRE)
Reference Number: FRA-125
Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Surveillance of Anti-malarial Drug Resistance
Institution: Laboratoire de Parasitologie, National Reference Center for Malaria in French Guiana and French West Indies
Reference Number: USA-168
Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Prevention and Control of Malaria
Institution: Malaria Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Reference Number: USA-430
Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC on Early Warning Systems for Malaria and other Climate Sensitive Diseases
Institution: International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University
Program Area 1.3
Malaria and other vector-borne diseases
Dr. Maria Paz Ade, Advisor, Malaria Diagnostics and Supply Management and Dr. Roberto Montoya, Advisor, Malaria, are the PAHO staff members who acts as the Region’s focal point to coordinate the collaboration between the institution and the Organization.
The main activities of these Centres include: (1) providing training on malaria microscopy diagnosis; (2) supporting anti-malarial drug efficacy and resistance surveillance; and (3) providing technical and laboratory support.
The Centre at InDRE offers Malaria Microscopy training to assess the competency for malaria microscopy diagnosis across National Reference Laboratories in the Region. This face-to-face training is offered 1-2 times per year and includes at least two participants from each National Laboratory across the Member States to attend the training. These trainings contribute to PAHO’s malaria elimination and global eradication goals which include the need to promptly detect, diagnose and treat malaria and to maintain capacities to prevent reestablishment under quality assurance standards. The Centre also provides PAHO with technical reviews of malaria diagnosis documents and processes in the Region including the Malaria microscopy quality assurance manual – Ver. 2 and the WHO Malaria microscopy standard operating procedures.
The Centre at the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane provides services to characterize malaria resistance across countries in the Guiana Shield and Amazonian region. These services include: phenotyping parasites against several antimalarial drugs using the appropriate in vitro method; genotyping parasites using sequencing methods on informative markers in the Region; and genotyping of polymorphic markers through the analysis of microsatellites. The Centre also provides services to evaluate performances of malaria diagnosis methods and to implement country capacities in performing anti-malarial drug efficacy and resistance surveillance.
The Centre at CDC provides PAHO with analysis from processed samples of molecular markers related to anti-malarial drug resistance, parasites and malaria rapid diagnostic tests, mainly for quality control purposes. The Centre has provided training and supervised local malaria teams in Brazil, Colombia and Guyana with performing laboratory analysis protocols and conducting Therapeutic Efficacy Studies. In Honduras and Peru, the Centre trains personnel on laboratory procedures related to molecular markers and in Haiti, the Centre is collaborating with PAHO on the Malaria Zero Initiative. This collaboration has been importnat as the Centre provided data on anti-malarial resistance to chloroquine for surveillance purposes which led to the finding that there was no resistance to chloroquine in Haiti. The Centre is currently participating in the Malaria Technical Advisory Group, Malaria Champions, and the WHO Malaria Policy Advisory Committee.
Currently, the Centre at Columbia University works mainly with WHO and there are no deliverables to report within the Region.
Webnotes such as these serve to inform on how CCs are contributing to the Organization’s priorities and mandates.