Malaria research toward disease elimination

Malaria is a life-threatening febrile illness caused by Plasmodium spp. parasites that are transmitted to humans by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. According to WHO, 241 million cases occurred in 2020, killing an estimated 627,000 people. Children and pregnant women are the most vulnerable groups accounting for more than two-thirds of malaria-related deaths. In 2015 the World Health Assembly provided a global strategy aiming to reduce the malaria burden and mortality rates by at least 90% in 35 countries and to prevent a resurgence in malaria-free countries by 2030. To reach this goal, in October 2021, WHO approved the broad use of the world’s first vaccine against a human parasitic disease for young children living in endemic areas to reduce deadly severe malaria risk.

On the occasion of World Malaria Day 2022, themed ‘Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives’ the infectious disease team at Nature Communications has curated a collection of research articles to shed light on recent progress in malaria research. 

In front of a violet background which illustrates the inner membrane of a blood vessel, several round red blood cells are shown. In between malaria parasites are illustrated in form of elongated worm-like structures in turquoise.


Plasmodium spp. and vector biology

Prevention strategies and immunology

Case control strategies and drug development

Surveillance and risk assessment