Colin Sutherland BSc PhD MPH
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Colin joined the School in January 1998 to work with Professor Geoffrey Targett on the adhesion of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes. After securing Wellcome Trust funding, Colin coordinated a series of clinical trials which measured the effect of antimalarial combination therapy on transmission of P. falciparum. This work was carried out in Farafenni, The Gambia from 2000 to 2002 . As result of this field work, Colin developed a keen interest in drug resistance which led to important collaborative projects within the Gates Malaria Partnership. He is now supported by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) as Senior Lecturer attached to the Malaria Reference Laboratory, LSHTM, and as Clinical Scientist in the Department of Clinical Parasitology at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
A highlight of recent work in Colin's HPA-supported role has been demonstrating that the human malaria parasite Plasmodium ovale exists as two separate species, which we have named P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri.
Colin contributes lectures, seminars and practical classes for students studying for the Immunology of infectious Diseases (IID), Control of Infectious Diseases (CID) and Molecular Biology of infectious Diseases (MBID) MSc degrees, and for the DTM&H. He has also supervised a large number of MSc summer research projects in the laboratory.
Colin's lab group has been involved in training researchers from a number of malaria endemic countries in techniques for molecular genotyping of malaria parasites. Recent trainees and students have hailed from Burkina Faso, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, The Philippines, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia and elsewhere, and include scientists, clinicians, doctoral students and research assistants.
Colin also contributes to a number of PhD examinations each year. Recent candidates have included students from Universities and Institutes in Montpelier, Liverpool, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Kilifi and London.
Recently completed doctoral students in the lab include:
Nahla Gadalla (Sudan) - efficacy of artemether lumefantrinefor treating malaria in eastern Sudan, and markers of treatment failure.
Completion: Nov 2011
Khalid Beshir (UK/Eritrea) - measuring efficacy of ACT against Plasmodium falciparum wilth a molecular parasite clearance time assay, and its association with mutations in the parasite transporter genes pfmdr1 and pfcrt.
Completion: May 2012
Nazma Habib Khan (Pakistan) - population genetics of Leishmania causing cutaneous leishmaniasis in north-western Pakistan.
Completion: April 2013
Bismarck Dinko (Ghana) - longitudinal studies of anti-gametocyte antibodies in Ghanaian school children.
Completion: June 2013
Current doctoral students in the lab include:
Ifeyinwa Chijioke-Nwauche (Nigeria) - efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine and resistance marker selection in HIV positive and negative adults in southern Nigeria.
Expected submission: mid 2013
Gisela Henriques (Portugal) - New genetic markers of artemisinin resistance in human malaria parasites.
Expected completion: 2014
Mary Grace Dacuma (The Philippines) - Using molecular methods to study malaria epidemiology of Mindanao.
Expected completion: 2014
Ifeyinwa Aniebo (Nigeria) - Genomic approaches to understanding drug resistant phenotypes in Plasmodium falciparum.
Expected completion: 2016
Colin's research falls into 3 main areas: Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte biology, malaria drug resistance and molecular diagnostics for malaria infections. The following projects are currently active in the lab:
1) The effects of combination therapy on post-treatment transmission and carriage of drug resistance genes in P. falciparum.
Together with the research groups of Rachel Hallett and Teun Bousema, we are examining the impact of new comnbination antimalarials, particularly those containing artemisinin compounds, on the development of resistance in malaria parasites. This work is funded by the EU-FP7 MALACTRES consortium, and is linked into a number of trials and studies throughout Africa in which ACTs will be tested. We are testing both efficacy and transmission outcomes to polymorphic markers in candidate genes.
We are currently identifying mutations in the P. falciparum genes, pfubp1 and pfcmu, and testing for associations with treatment outcomes in African children with malaria receiving ACT.
2) New molecular tools for diagnosis of parasitic infections
The Health Protection Agency is supporting the development of new DNA amplification assays both in the Malaria Reference Laboratory at LSHTM, with Dr Debbie Nolder and Paul Lansdell, and at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD) with Dr Spencer Polley and Prof. Peter Chiodini. New real-time quantitative PCR assays for Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax have been developed and have entered routine diagnostic use. Tests for P. ovale, P. malariae and P. knowlesi have been developed and are being validated. These quantitative assays are also being used to monitor parasite clearance times in patients under treatment in HTD.
In addition, new applications of LAMP technology for malaria diagnosis have been developed with Spencer Polley at the Clinical Parasitology Dept at HTD with funding support from FIND, Geneva. We just completed a Phase III clinical evaluation of this approach, in the form of a prototype malaria LAMP diagnostic kit developed by Eiken Chemical Co., Japan, in the outpatients clinic at HTD. A manuscript describing the results has been submitted.
3) Identification of target surface antigens in P. falciparum gametocytes.
The work carried out by doctoral students Sarah Sharp (PhD completed October 2007) and Dr Maha Saeed (PhD completed 2010) identified gametocyte-expressed members of the multi-gene families stevor and var that may play a role in sexual-stage adhesion, and demonstrated that plasma antibodies from some Gambian children with a recent history of gametocyte carriage recognise the surface of cultured gametocyte-infected erythrocytes. Doctoral student Bismarck Dinko has now completed a longitudinal study of these antibodies in school children in his native Ghana.
4) Population biology of P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri
Mary Oguike is leading work on these two distinct forms of malaria parasite, first described in 2010 as part of Colin's work in the UK Malaria Reference Laboratory, with collaborator Dr Mallika Imwong from Mahidol University, Bangkok. Together with Dr Imwong, Dr Abdoulaye Djimde, University of Bamako, Mali and Dr Alyssa Barry, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne.,
5) In vitro drug responses of parasites isolated from malaria patients treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD), London.
As Clinical Scientist at HTD, Colin has direct contact with malaria patients who have returned to or visited the UK from malaria-endemic countries. In a project during 2012, funded by the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), in vitro drug sensitivty tests on these parasites with a panel of established and investigational compounds provided by MMV. Project staff Dr Don van Schalkwyk and Rebekah Burrow successfully adapted 7 recent P. falciparum isolates from across Africa to long-term in vitro growth.
6) Full-genome sequencing of malaria parasites taken directly from HTD patients
A number of HTD patients have kindly given written consent for further research studies to be performed on malaria parasite DNA purified from their blood samples. A full analysis of these parasite genomes with LSHTM colleague Dr Taane Clark was published in 2011, and we are currently working on further genomic studies.
7) EDCTP-funded studies of ACT therapy for children with malaria in West Africa
This project, coordinated by Dr Djimde in Bamako, brings a number of European and African project partners together to design. implement and evaluate Phase III trials of ACT therapies in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea-Conakry. Particularly exciting is the opportunity to be involved in the first large-scale trials of artesunate-pyronaridine for treating malaria in African children. Khalid Beshir developed a novel qPCR method for evaluating parasite clearance in malaria patients to be deployed across this project.
- Clinical guidelines
- Clinical trials
- Drug discovery and development
- Drug resistance
- Public health
- Randomised controlled trials
- Molecular biology
- Molecular epidemiology
Disease and Health Conditions
- Emerging Infectious Disease
- Infectious disease
- Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
- Tropical diseases
- Zoonotic disease
- East Asia & Pacific (all income levels)
- Euro area
- European Union
- Middle East & North Africa (all income levels)
- South Asia
- Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)
- Burkina Faso
- Equatorial Guinea
- Gambia, The
- Lao PDR
- Papua New Guinea
- United Kingdom
- Venezuela, RB
Dynamics of pfcrt alleles CVMNK and CVIET in chloroquine-treated Sudanese patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum.
Gadalla, N.B.; Elzaki, S.E.; Mukhtar, E.; Warhurst, D.C.; El-Sayed, B.; Sutherland, C.J.;
Malar J, 2010; 9:74
Two nonrecombining sympatric forms of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium ovale occur globally.
Sutherland, C.J. ; Tanomsing, N. ; Nolder, D. ; Oguike, M. ; Jennison, C. ; Pukrittayakamee, S. ; Dolecek, C. ; Hien, T.T. ; do Rosário, V.E. ; Arez, A.P. ; Pinto, J. ; Michon, P. ; Escalante, A.A. ; Nosten, F. ; Burke, M. ; Lee, R. ; Blaze, M. ; Otto, T.D. ; Barnwell, J.W. ; Pain, A. ; Williams, J. ; White, N.J. ; Day, N.P. ; Snounou, G. ; Lockhart, P.J. ; Chiodini, P.L. ; Imwong, M. ; Polley, S.D. ;
J Infect Dis, 2010; 201(10):1544-50
Novel pfdhps haplotypes among imported cases of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in the UK.
Sutherland, C.J.; Fifer, H.; Pearce, R.J.; Bin Reza, F.; Nicholas, M.; Haustein, T.; Njimgye-Tekumafor, N.E.; Doherty, J.F.; Gothard, P.; Polley, S.D.; Chiodini, P.L.;
Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 2009; 53(8):3405-10
Plasmodium falciparum antigens on the surface of the gametocyte-infected erythrocyte.
Saeed, M.; Roeffen, W.; Alexander, N.; Drakeley, C.J.; Targett, G.A.; Sutherland, C.J.;
PLoS ONE, 2008; 3(5):e2280
Amodiaquine and Artemether-Lumefantrine Select Distinct Alleles of the Plasmodium falciparum mdr1 Gene in Tanzanian Children Treated for Uncomplicated Malaria.
Humphreys, G.S.; Merinopoulos, I.; Ahmed, J.; Whitty, C.J.; Mutabingwa, T.K.; Sutherland, C.J.; Hallett, R.L.;
Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 2007; 51(3):991-7
Children in Burkina Faso who are protected by insecticide-treated materials are able to clear drug-resistant parasites better than unprotected children.
Diallo, D.A.; Sutherland, C.; Nebie, I.; Konate, A.T.; Ord, R.; Ilboudo-Sanogo, E.; Greenwood, B.M.; Cousens, S.N.;
J Infect Dis, 2007; 196(1):138-44
Reduction of Malaria Transmission to Anopheles Mosquitoes with a Six-Dose Regimen of Co-Artemether.
Sutherland, C.J.; Ord, R.; Dunyo, S.; Jawara, M.; Drakeley, C.J.; Alexander, N.; Coleman, R.; Pinder, M.; Walraven, G.; Targett, G.A.;
PLoS Med, 2005; 2(4):e92
Carriage of chloroquine-resistant parasites and delay of effective treatment increase the risk of severe malaria in Gambian children
Meerman, L.; Ord, R.; Bousema, J. T.; van Niekerk, M.; Osman, E.; Hallett, R.; Pinder, M.; Walraven, G.; Sutherland, C. J.
Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2005; 192(9):1651-1657
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