Shrinking the Malaria Map

UCSF Global Health Group’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI)

MEI update on COVID-19

06 April 2020

Countries around the world are battling the devastating spread of COVID-19. At the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), our infectious disease researchers, frontline healthcare providers, and other leading experts are working tirelessly to drive forward solutions and help mitigate the impact of this pandemic, both domestically and internationally. UCSF’s ongoing research to address COVID-19 includes:

  • Rapid, accurate diagnosis of COVID-19 infection in less than one hour using gene editing technologies.
  • Novel methods to diagnose COVID-19 infection based on the host immune response to the coronavirus, especially in individuals with no or minimal symptoms.
  • Methods to track the spread and evolution of COVID-19 by real-time genomic sequencing.
  • Methods to quickly recover the COVID-19 genome sequence directly from low-titer clinical samples.
  • Understanding the pathology of COVID-19 and how infection can develop into a life-threatening pneumonia.
  • Developing antibody-based therapies to treat COVID-19.
  • Developing and testing vaccines to prevent infection from COVID-19.

UCSF’s Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) stands in solidarity with those affected by the pandemic. Complex challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic can have a far-reaching and tremendous impact on population health, disrupting the delivery of normal health services and leading to increased rates of morbidity and mortality from other diseases such as malaria. Maintaining ongoing malaria control activities wherever possible and ensuring continued access to core malaria interventions is critical to reducing the burden on already strained health systems.

To this end, MEI is continuing to support the countries where we work, reassigning staff where possible to leverage existing expertise to fight the spread of COVID-19 – while working with countries and other partners to ensure that progress made fighting malaria is sustained. A swift and effective response to COVID-19 is critical to both ending the existing pandemic and ensuring that efforts tackling ongoing epidemics such as malaria, HIV and TB continue.

UCSF’s faculty, staff, and students work in nearly every country of the world. We remain committed to our university-wide mission of solving global health problems so that people can lead healthy, productive lives.

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