Group Anna Färnert

Malaria: molecular epidemiology, immunity and interventions

The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is highly polymorphic. The long time to acquire protective immunity may be due to the need to encounter a wide range of parasite variant. Maintenance of such immunity may also depend on persistence of multiclonal infections.

We aim to study the genetic diversity and dynamics of P. falciparum infections in childhood in different transmission settings. We will also assess how new control interventions, e.g. vaccine and intermittent preventive treatment, affect the diversity of infections and the risk of subsequent malaria. Moreover, we will investigate potential immunological mechanisms regulating the diversity of infections. The studies are performed in malaria endemic areas in Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania, as well as in Sweden in patients and immigrants.

Professor, MD, PhD


Anna Färnert

Telefon: 08-517 752 85

Team members

Anna Färnert, Professor, Head of Unit

Akua Botwe, PhD student

Peter Jahnmatz, PhD student

Muhammad Asghar, PhD, Post Doctoral fellow

Klara Sondén, MD, PhD, Post Doctoral Fellow

Manijeh Vafa Homann, PhD, Research Assistent Professor

Andreas Wångdahl, MD, PhD student

Katja Wyss, MD, PhD student

Victor Yman, MD, PhD student

Christopher Sundling, PhD, Research Assistent Professor

Key publications

Obesity and Diabetes as Risk Factors for Severe Plasmodium falciparum Malaria: Results from a Swedish Nationwide Study.
Wyss K, Wångdahl A, Vesterlund M, Hammar U, Dashti S, Naucler P, et al
Clin. Infect. Dis. 2017 May;():

High Rate of Treatment Failures in Nonimmune Travelers Treated With Artemether-Lumefantrine for Uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in Sweden: Retrospective Comparative Analysis of Effectiveness and Case Series.
Sondén K, Wyss K, Jovel I, Vieira da Silva A, Pohanka A, Asghar M, et al
Clin. Infect. Dis. 2017 Jan;64(2):199-206

Parallel telomere shortening in multiple body tissues owing to malaria infection.
Asghar M, Palinauskas V, Zaghdoudi-Allan N, Valkiūnas G, Mukhin A, Platonova E, et al
Proc. Biol. Sci. 2016 Aug;283(1836):

Antibody acquisition models: A new tool for serological surveillance of malaria transmission intensity.
Yman V, White M, Rono J, Arcà B, Osier F, Troye-Blomberg M, et al
Sci Rep 2016 Feb;6():19472

Multiple clinical episodes of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in a low transmission intensity setting: exposure versus immunity.
Rono J, Färnert A, Murungi L, Ojal J, Kamuyu G, Guleid F, et al
BMC Med 2015 May;13():114

Asymptomatic Multiclonal Plasmodium falciparum Infections Carried Through the Dry Season Predict Protection Against Subsequent Clinical Malaria.
Sondén K, Doumbo S, Hammar U, Vafa Homann M, Ongoiba A, Traoré B, et al
J. Infect. Dis. 2015 Aug;212(4):608-16

Duration of residency in a non-endemic area and risk of severe malaria in African immigrants.
Färnert A, Wyss K, Dashti S, Naucler P
Clin. Microbiol. Infect. 2015 May;21(5):494-501

Chronic infection. Hidden costs of infection: chronic malaria accelerates telomere degradation and senescence in wild birds.
Asghar M, Hasselquist D, Hansson B, Zehtindjiev P, Westerdahl H, Bensch S
Science 2015 Jan;347(6220):436-8

Epidemiology of malaria in a village in the Rufiji River Delta, Tanzania: declining transmission over 25 years revealed by different parasitological metrics.
Färnert A, Yman V, Homann M, Wandell G, Mhoja L, Johansson M, et al
Malar. J. 2014 Nov;13():459

High incidence of Plasmodium vivax malaria in newly arrived Eritrean refugees in Sweden since May 2014.
Sonden K, Castro E, Törnnberg L, Stenstrom C, Tegnell A, Farnert A
Euro Surveill. 2014 Sep;19(35):

Breadth of anti-merozoite antibody responses is associated with the genetic diversity of asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum infections and protection against clinical malaria.
Rono J, Osier F, Olsson D, Montgomery S, Mhoja L, Rooth I, et al
Clin. Infect. Dis. 2013 Nov;57(10):1409-16

Long-lived Plasmodium falciparum specific memory B cells in naturally exposed Swedish travelers.
Ndungu F, Lundblom K, Rono J, Illingworth J, Eriksson S, Färnert A
Eur. J. Immunol. 2013 Nov;43(11):2919-29

Plasmodium falciparum infection patterns since birth and risk of severe malaria: a nested case-control study in children on the coast of Kenya.
Lundblom K, Murungi L, Nyaga V, Olsson D, Rono J, Osier F, et al
PLoS ONE 2013 ;8(2):e56032

Bacterial coinfections in travelers with malaria: rationale for antibiotic therapy.
Sandlund J, Naucler P, Dashti S, Shokri A, Eriksson S, Hjertqvist M, et al
J. Clin. Microbiol. 2013 Jan;51(1):15-21

Transmission-dependent tolerance to multiclonal Plasmodium falciparum infection.
Färnert A, Williams T, Mwangi T, Ehlin A, Fegan G, Macharia A, et al
J. Infect. Dis. 2009 Oct;200(7):1166-75

Plasmodium falciparum population dynamics: only snapshots in time?
Färnert A
Trends Parasitol. 2008 Aug;24(8):340-4


MD, PhD, Principal Investigator

Anna Färnert

Work:+46 (0)8-517 752 85