Our Team

Alfredo Mayor

Alfredo Mayor

Research Professor Malaria, Maternal, Child & Reproductive Health

As a molecular biologist specialized in malaria parasitology, the overall goal of the Malaria Physiopathology group led by Alfredo Mayor is to contribute to the development of new tools for the control and eventual elimination of malaria through the understanding of key physiopathological events of malaria in children and pregnant women. To this end, the team have combined molecular biology, immunology, epidemiology and clinical medicine to study parasite and host factors influencing the clinical outcome of malaria infections:

  1. Near elimination malaria: In close collaboration with the CISM in Mozambique, we aim to understand changes in host (immunity) and parasite (sexual and asexual balance) factors in response to selective pressures exerted by large-scale programs which quickly reduce the malaria parasite biomass in a community. In collaboration with the University Cayetano Heredia in Peru, we also investigate potential “zoonotic” forms of malaria in low transmission settings of the Amazon basis which can compromise elimination efforts.
  2. Asymptomatic malaria: As the drive towards elimination intensifies, the question arises as to the added benefit of identifying and treating asymptomatic infections in order to interrupt transmission. The answer to this lies in better understanding the natural dynamics and biological factors of afebrile Pf infections. We are applying novel approaches to describe parasite dynamics and biological processes affecting the natural progression of asymptomatic infections in untreated afebrile individuals.
  3. Next-generation surveillance: We aim to develop malaria molecular surveillance approaches to interrogate parasite populations using molecular biology approaches (next-generation sequencing and serology). We are also interested in assessing the value of an antenatal-based surveillance approach by comparing temporal and spatial trends of malaria infections, as well as the parasite genetic composition, in pregnant women and children. https://www.isglobal.org/-/genmoz
  4. Capacity building in Mozambique: We will pursue the development of technical and human capacities at CISM (Mozambique) through the training on state-of-the-art approaches to investigate malaria disease.

Main publications

  • King M, George AE, Cisteró P, Tarr Attia CK, Arregui B, Omeonga S, Chen H, García Sípido AM, Sarukhan A, Bassat Q, Lansana DP, Mayor A. No evidence of false-negative Plasmodium falciparum rapid diagnostic results in Monrovia, Liberia. Malar J (2021) 20:238
  • Gupta H, Rubio M, Sitoe A, Varo R, Cisteró P, Madrid L, Cuamba I, Jimenez A, Martiáñez-Vendrell X, Barrios D, Pantano L, Brimacombe A, Bustamante M, Bassat Q, Mayor A. Plasma microRNA profiling for malaria disease: association with severity and P. falciparum biomass. Emerg Infect Dis. 2021 Feb;27(2):430-442.
  • Huijben S, Macete E, Mombo-Ngoma G, Ramharter M, Kariuki S, Desai M, Shi YP, Mwangoka G, Massougbodji A, Cot M, Ndam NT, Uberegui E, Gupta H, Cisteró P, Aponte JJ, González R, Menéndez C, Mayor A. Counter-Selection of Antimalarial Resistance Polymorphisms by Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnancy. J Infect Dis. 2020 Jan 2;221(2):293-303.
  • Fonseca AM, González R, Bardají A, Jairoce C, Rupérez M, Jiménez A, Quintó L, Cisteró P, Vala A, Sacoor C, Gupta H, Hegewisch-Taylor J, Brew J, Ndam NT, Kariuki S, López M, Dobaño C, Chitnis CE, Ouma P, Ramharter M, Abdulla S, Aponte JJ, Massougbodji A, Briand V, Mombo-Ngoma G, Desai M, Cot M, Nhacolo A, Sevene E, Macete E, Menéndez C, Mayor A. VAR2CSA Serology to Detect Plasmodium falciparum Transmission Patterns in Pregnancy. Emerg Infect Dis. 2019 Oct;25(10):1851-1860.
  • Mayor A, Menéndez C, Walker PGT. Targeting Pregnant Women for Malaria Surveillance. Trends Parasitol. 2019 Sep;35(9):677-686.
  • Mayor A, Martínez-Pérez G, Tarr-Attia CK, Breeze-Barry B, Sarukhan A, García-Sípido AM, Hurtado JC, Lansana DP, Casamitjana N. Training through malaria research: building capacity in good clinical and laboratory practice in Liberia. Malar J. 2019 Apr 17;18(1):136.
  • Galatas, B., Martí-Soler H, Nhamussua L, Cisteró P, Aide P, Saute F, Menéndez C, Rabinovich R, Alonso PL, Bassat Q, Mayor, A. Dynamics of afebrile Plasmodium falciparum Infections in Mozambican Men. Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Sep 14;67(7):1045-1052.
  • Ndam NT, Mbuba E, González R, Cisteró P, Kariuki S, Sevene E, Rupérez M, Fonseca AM, Vala A, Maculuve S, Jiménez A, Quintó L, Ouma P, Ramharter M, Aponte JJ, Nhacolo A, Massougbodji A, Briand V, Kremsner PG, Mombo-Ngoma G, Desai M, Macete E, Cot M, Menéndez C, Mayor A. Resisting and tolerating P. falciparum in pregnancy under different malaria transmission intensities. BMC Med. 2017 Jul 17;15(1):130.
  • Galatas B, Bassat Q, Mayor A. Malaria Parasites in the Asymptomatic: Looking for the Hay in the Haystack. Trends Parasitol. 2016 Apr;32(4):296-308.
  • Mayor A, Bardají, A, Macete E, Nhampossa T, Fonseca AM, González, R, Maculuve S, Cisteró P, Rupérez, M, Campo J, Vala A, Sigaúque B, Jimenez A, Machevo S, de la Fuente L, Nhama A, Luis L, Aponte JJ, Acácio S, Nhacolo A, Chitnis C, Dobaño C, Sevene E, Alonso PL, Menéndez C. Changing Trends in P. falciparum Burden, Immunity, and Disease in Pregnancy. N Engl J Med. 2015 Oct 22;373(17):1607-17.