Key Knowledge Gaps for Plasmodium vivax Control and Elimination.
Bassat Q., Velarde M., Mueller I., Lin J., Leslie T., Wongsrichanalai C., Baird JK.
There is inadequate understanding of the biology, pathology, transmission, and control of Plasmodium vivax, the geographically most widespread cause of human malaria. During the last decades, study of this species was neglected, in part due to the erroneous belief that it is intrinsically benign. In addition, many technical challenges in culturing the parasite also hampered understanding its fundamental biology and molecular and cellular responses to chemotherapeutics. Research on vivax malaria needs to be substantially expanded over the next decade to accelerate its elimination and eradication. This article summarizes key knowledge gaps identified by researchers, national malaria control programs, and other stakeholders assembled by the World Health Organization to develop strategies for controlling and eliminating vivax malaria. The priorities presented in this article emerged in these technical discussions, and were adopted by expert consensus of the authors. All involved understood the priority placed upon pragmatism in this research agenda, that is, focus upon tools delivering better prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and surveillance of P. vivax.