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Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso - IRSS

Site Institution: Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Sante Direction Regionale de L’Ouest (IRSS-DRO)
U.S. Institution: Yale University
Research Areas: Malaria, Molecular Biology, Transmission, Intervention Trials

Site Description:
Burkina Faso is one of the 20 poorest countries in the world and it has a very high morbidity rate from malaria.

The collaboration between the Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé, Direction Régionale de L’Ouest (IRSS-DRO) and Dr. Sunil Parikh started in 2004 through different projects on malaria conducted with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 2005, Dr. Parikh and Dr. Jean Bosco Ouedraogo began collaborating on a pharmacogenomic study in Burkina Faso. It was followed by pharmacokinetic and drug efficacy studies of antimalarials, the results of which influenced malaria treatment guidelines for the WHO in 2015. In 2012, Dr. Parikh moved to Yale, coincident with the receipt of a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)-funded R21 proposal entitled “Innate immune responses in populations with differing susceptibility to malaria” conducted with Dr. Ouedraogo and IRSS-DRO. Through this collaboration (IRSS-DRO-Yale University), investigators from IRSS-DRO spent several months at Yale for a laboratory training visit to learn techniques relating to immunologic assays relevant to the R21.

The IRSS-DRO-Yale University program has continued to grow. Drs. Parikh, Ouedrago, and Roch Dabire recently submitted an NIAID-R21 and NIAID-U01, which combines clinical studies with entomological experiments, as the IRSS has an internationally-renowned entomology research program and several insectaries. These new projects involve a growing collaboration with Dr. Brian Foy at Colorado State University, a vector biologist, who has been working with Dr. Dabire for years. Additionally, Dr. Parikh submitted an NIAID-R01 clinical trial with Dr. Ouedarogo, aimed at the rational use of antimalarials to reduce the risk of the emergence and spread of ACT resistance.

IRSS-DRO has excellent facilities and resources. The entomology lab has five senior scientists (medical entomologists) and approximately 30 field technicians and specialists, who conduct activities such as mosquito collection, dissection, species identification and insecticide bioassays. The insectary includes five separate mosquito rearing rooms and five colonies of malaria vector are available - An. gambiae molecular form M, An. gambiae molecular S, two An. Arabiensis were established from local vector populations, and one colony of Aedes aegypti was recently established.

IRSS-DRO has long-term collaborations with local health centers and villages in many areas around Bobo-Dioulasso and is welcomed by during entomological or parasitological surveys. Two experimental stations implemented in two different sites, Vallée du Kou (about 30km form Bobo-Dioulasso) and Soumousso (about 45km from Bobo-Dioulasso), are fully equipped with experimental huts and two malaria spheres for insecticide trials and bionomic and ecological studies in semi-natural conditions.

IRSS-DRO has a long history of training researchers from Europe and other African countries, and has also sent trainees to France, Germany, and the UK. This provides the unique opportunity to bilaterally train researchers in one of the highest malaria-endemic sites in the world.