Strengthening Resilience against Sleeping Sickness in Malawi (STRESS)

Strengthening Resilience against Sleeping Sickness in Malawi (STRESS)

Project 24 Nov 2021

STRESS is an MRC-funded project based in the Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve in northern Malawi bringing together experts in tsetse fly and trypanosome biology from Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, the University of Glasgow and LSTM.

Our vision

To produce an evidence-based tsetse control programme that reduces the risk of Rhodesian sleeping sickness in the local communities surrounding the Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve.

 Dr Christopher Jones

Project lead is Dr Chris Jones.

Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve forms part of the 30,000 km2 Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area in northern Malawi. The Reserve is home to a diverse wildlife including the largest population of elephants in north Malawi. It is also currently where the largest proportion of Rhodesian sleeping sickness cases are reported in Africa.

What will the STRESS project do?

STRESS will investigate the ecology of tsetse flies at the wildlife reserve perimeter edge using entomological trapping, environmental and wildlife mapping, and tsetse population modelling. Furthermore, we will sequence trypanosome species in various hosts to understand the local dynamics and virulence of the disease. This information will be used to deliver a tsetse fly control programme based on insecticide-treated targets to protect communities living on the edge of Vwaza.