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Monday, July 24, 2017

talk The Malaria Detective

Dear members & friends

You are invited to a talk entitled The Malaria Detective.

 Speaker :Professor Dr Balbir Singh from Unimas University
 Date: 17 August 2017
 Topic: The Malaria Detective
 Time: 7.30-9pm
 Venue:  Islamic Information Centre (Lower Baruk)
             Jalan Ong Tiang Swee (behind Swinburne University)

 Registration: MNSKB Members, please register with Secretariat at: 

Cost: Free of Charge.You may walk in and bring your friends.

Prof Balbir Singh is the director of the Malaria Research Centre (MRC) at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). He graduated with BSc, MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Liverpool. He began working on malaria in 1984 as a postdoctoral scientist at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom. He joined Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1992 and 7 years later moved to UNIMAS. The team that he leads at MRC studies the mosquitoes that transmit malaria, the people that are infected and their clinical features. His team’s most significant discovery has been that there is a monkey malaria parasite causing malaria in humans and these infections are potentially fatal. He has been invited to give numerous talks at conferences in Europe, USA and Australasia, has been an advisor to the World Health Organisation and was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.
Description of talk entitled Malaria Detectives:
Infections of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi were thought to be restricted to long- tailed and pig-tailed macaques in nature, until it was discovered that there was a large number of human cases in the Kapit Division of Sarawak. The talk will begin with an introduction to malaria followed by how the malaria detectives at UNIMAS undertook investigations that lead to the discovery of this large focus of human infections. The history of this parasite will be described together with details of further investigations involving monkeys, mosquitoes and humans. These show that humans in Southeast Asia get infected with P. knowlesi by being bitten by mosquitoes that acquire the malaria parasite from monkeys. Recently this ‘monkey malaria parasite’ has become the most common type among malaria patients in Sarawak and Sabah, and poses a hurdle in efforts to eradicate malaria.

Cynthia Lobato
MNSKB Committee

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