Dr Khalid Beshir
BSc MSc PhD
Khalid joined the School to work on EDCTP-funded WANECAM project - Clinical trial of four Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACT) carried out in 5 sites within three West African countries: Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea Conakry. Khalid's work focuses on development of new molecular tools to monitor the emergence of drug resistance parasites in the era of ACT. Khalid is currently working on molecular evaluation of the efficacy of ACTs as well as Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) therapies in West Africa.
Dr Beshir's other project involve investigation of deletion of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich proteins (Pfhrp2 and pfhrp3) and the impact on RDT perfomance, parasite genome profile and disease outcome. We have recently reported that malaria parasites with gene deletions that affect a key target of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are circulating in East Africa. We identified P. falciparum parasites from eastern and western Kenya that have deletions of the genes, which code for histidine-rich proteins 2 (HRP2) and 3 (HRP3). We are currently analyzing parasite samples from Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda, to investigate whether pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 deletions are present, and to integrate molecular data with microscopy and RDT results to assess any effect on RDT performance in those areas.
Khalid is a tutor on Medical Parasitology course and Malaria DL module and is involved in the teaching of Miscroscopic Diagnosis of Malaria Parasites and Molecular Biology. Khalid is a member of joint committee for Medical Parasitology and Medical Entomology for Disease Control courses.
In the Sutherland lab, Khalid's research focuses in three areas:
1.Development of novel molecular tools to monitor the emergence of artemisinin resistant parasites in the era of ACT. Khalid, under the supervision of Dr Sutherland, has recently developed a realtime PCR tool to measure parasite clearance after ACT treatment. Currently, the assay is bieng used on DNA derived from filter-paper bloodspots of pateints from different malaria endemic countries.
2. Investigation and identification of potential molecular markers for ACT resistance in Plasmodium falciparum. Khalid is particularily interested in two genes, which code for Plasmodium falciparum transporter proteins; namely Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and Plasmodium flaciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr1).
3. Tracking Plasmodium falciparum with histidine-rich protein (pfhrp2 and pfhrp3) deletions in East Africa: unravelling the genomic profile of the parasites and the impact on clinical outcome