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The disease

Malaria is caused by four species of the Plasmodium parasite (falciparum, vivax, ovale and malarial). The parasite is transmitted to humans through the bite of Anopheles mosquitoes that maintain the cycle by feeding on infected patients.

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Closely linked to poverty, malaria remains one of the world's greatest public health challenges. The WHO estimates that in 2012 there were 219 million new cases and 627,000 deaths annually, mainly among the most disadvantaged populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Children under the age of five are the most affected.



Malaria has developed resistance to drugs that have been used for years, such as chloroquine or sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine. Currently, one of the most effective treatments is artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). This combination is used to prolong and reinforce the effect of treatment and delay the development of resistance. The failure at development of effective insecticides against the mosquito and the fact that vaccines are still available at development means that there is an urgent need to develop new drug therapies with improved safety and efficacy profiles.


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Vector control

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Mosquito control is an essential pillar of malaria control. The emergence of insecticide resistance and adaptations in the behaviour of mosquito vectors make the usual control measures (such as mosquito nets and residual insecticides) less effective.

New methods need to be developed to combat the mosquito, even if it. It feeds outdoors or in the twilight. Ivermectin is a safe drug, capable of killing mosquitoes that feed on treated people, no matter where or when.

The project MISSION aims to develop an ivermectin extended-release system that safely maintains mosquito-cidal plasma levels long enough to have a significant impact on malaria transmission.


Team researcher Parasitic diseases. Malaria

Vector control

José Luis del Pozo (MD, PhD)

Principal investigator


+34 948 255 400

Carlos Chaccour (MD, PhD)

Principal investigator


+34 948 255 400

Ana Gloria Gil-Royo (PhD)



+34 948 425600 Extension: 806352

Elena González-Peñas (PhD)

Research fellow


+34 948 425600 Extension: 806371

Ángel Irigoyen (PhD)

Research fellow


+34 948 425600 Extension: 806344

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The most important publications of the last few years can be viewed via PubMed(click here).