Research Degree Student
Henry is an Epidemiologist who is currently doing a PhD in Immuno Epidemiology supervised by Chris Drakeley and Jackie Cook. Prior to joining the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in January 2016, he started his research career as a research assistant at the Centre for Tropical Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia. He spent his first 2 years working in field evaluation of diagnosis strategy and techniques for several tropical diseases (tb and NTDs) with the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium and finally joined the malaria transmission project (in collaboration with LSHTM) 1 year before starting his PhD.
Optimising serological surveillance for malaria in Indonesia.
The recent success in decreasing malaria burden brings new challenges for measuring the disease burden, particularly in low transmission areas. Measuring transmission in these situations requires more sensitive tools, larger sample sizes, precise sampling timing, more selective target populations and more effective and efficient strategies for conducting surveillance. Several factors can further increase complexity: human mobility across the country’s endemic areas, high risk human behaviour, seasonality factors, lack of laboratory diagnostic tools and low sensitivity of surveillance and public health systems.
Conventionally, malaria surveillance has been based on clinical case reporting by health services, entomological estimates and parasitemia point prevalence. However, these techniques become less sensitive and relatively more expensive as transmission declines. Serological surveillance involves the detection of Plasmodium species-specific antibodies as biomarkers for monitoring exposure and transmission. This method has been utilised in several countries and is an additional tool that can detect both recent and historical transmission patterns at population-level, particularly in low-transmission settings. Optimising this method to function as part of a routine surveillance system will give more power and precision in estimating population level of malaria exposure and infection.
The main aim of this study is to develop and evaluate an integrated serological surveillance method for monitoring malaria transmission utilising existing public health surveillance system in an elimination setting in Indonesia. The research focuses on developing and evaluating integrated methods for serological sample collection and analytical methods to assess presence and absence of transmission. A core theme of the research is utilising novel technologies and techniques to more effectively estimate the magnitude and heterogeneity of malaria infection.