Fitsum G. Tadesse
Armauer Hansen Research Institute
Trained in Biochemistry (MSc, Addis Ababa University) and Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (MSc, Radboud University Medical Center and Oslo University Hospital), Fitsum G Tadesse has acquired knowledge with regard to Biochemistry, Immunology and Molecular Biology with valuable practical experience in the respective fields. During his PhD studies (a collaboration between Radboud University Nijmegen, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Armauer Hansen Research Institute, and Addis Ababa University) he investigated the relative contribution to the infectious reservoir of asymptomatic P. vivax and P. falciaprum infected individuals in comparison with passively detected clinical cases. He mentored 6 MSc students, presented the findings in 9 international conferences and 2 technical consultative meetings at the World Health Organization. Currently, he is leading the malaria research team of Armauer Hansen Research Institute whereby four PhD students and eight research assistants are involved. His team is investigating the dynamics and transmission from man-to-mosquito of Plasmodium infections in logitudinal cohort studies to inform elimination. In these studies his team is exploring soluble human factors (antibodies) that correlate with transmission reduction and can be used as transmission blocking vaccine targets. The team also explores antibodies that associate with subsequent relapsing episodes of P. vivax that can be used as markers to guide community wide interventions that aim to target the hidden liver stage. Fitsum is interested in exploring the interaction between P. vivax and P. falciparum in settings sympatric for the two species to generate evidence on how they can be targeted in elimination efforts. From the dynamics studies the group have learnt that the majority of P. vivax infections are either preceded or followed by P. falciparum infections; the same holds true for P. falciparum implicating that interventions need to be tailored to target both species. The team is currently investigating the competence of the newly detected urban malaria vector, An. stephensi, that spread from India and the Persian Gulf via Djibouti to East Africa in experimental feeding experiments.