Quique Bassat Orellana

Quique Bassat Orellana

ICREA Research Professor Malaria Elimination, Malaria, Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health, Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health, Viral and Bacterial Infections

Pediatrician, researcher at ISGlobal and, since 2017, ICREA research professor. He has a special interest in the epidemiology of infectious diseases in developing countries and in the clinical characterization of severe pediatric infections. He has been involved in different clinical trials assessing the efficacy of antimalarial therapies and other preventive tools.

Quique Bassat completed an MSc in tropical Medicine (2004), an MSc in Epidemiology (London, 2007-08) and a PhD in Medicine (Barcelona, 2009).


What has he been doing in the past 5 years

Since the beginning of his research career, he has focussed on a few diseases of high burden and impact in the health of children (and sometimes adults) in the developing world. His work on P. falciparum malaria has comprised an attempt to characterize the disease from its clinic-epidemiological perspective (descriptions of malaria disease and associated co-morbidities in a busy rural district African hospital), and the evaluation of treatment and prevention tools. Besides the work conducted with the antimalarial candidate vaccine RTS,S, he has been heavily involved in the evaluation of two new antimalarial drug combinations, namely dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (Eurartesim®), and dispersible paediatric artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem®) as well as other antimalarials.

Beyond the African malaria, he has also been interested in studying P. vivax, which has recently been reconsidered as a potentially severe pathogen. It has been conclusively shown, through post-mortem work conducted in the Brazilian Amazon and in India’s Rajasthan, the potential of this parasite to kill. Similarly, he has been involved in the clinical characterization of vivax-related disease, and in the evaluation of the safety and tolerability of antimalarial drugs (AL, primaquine) in vivax-infected patients. Additionally, he has also conducted research aiming to describe the epidemiology, aetiology and clinical characteristics of pneumonia, diarrheal disease and neonatal sepsis in Mozambique and also in Morocco.

Recognizing that in the poorest countries of the world diagnostic facilities are scarce, he has also been interested in studying non-malarial fevers, and exploring the potential use of biomarkers (through a genomics and proteomics approach) to differentiate malaria with other common (and often overlapping in symptoms) paediatric infections, such as bacterial and viral pneumonia. Additionally, he has devoted some work to the study of the tropical infection yaws, highly endemic in Papua New Guinea. That research has shown the non-inferiority of a single dose of azithromycin (in comparison to injectable penicillin) for the treatment of this infection, renewing the interest on its potential eradication, whose feasibility has been confirmed in a proof-of-concept elimination study conducted in the PNG island of Lihir.


What would he want to achieve in the upcoming years

As a paediatrician, with special interest in infectious disease epidemiology and public health, he has tried to combine his clinical work with biomedical research in those diseases that most affect the poor and vulnerable. Having worked in different continents (Sub-Saharan and Northern Africa, South America, Asia and the Pacific), he has had an extensive exposure to the diversity of paediatric infectious diseases globally, particularly in some areas, which carry the brunt of such infections. Thus, his career purpose is to persevere in conducting research with a potential to improve the diagnostic, management and prevention of life threatening paediatric conditions at a global level, and to work towards a more adequate understanding of the principal causes of death. In this respect, the Barcelona Institute of Global health (ISGlobal) offers a unique opportunity to conduct high quality and influential research both because of its mission and vision, but also through its associated network of research platforms and collaborating institutions throughout the world.

In terms of his research plans for the upcoming years, he remains consistently interested in addressing some of the existing knowledge gaps related to the diagnosis and management of some common paediatric conditions causing disease and death in the developing world. In such settings, diagnostic tools are scarce, and the application of clinical-based algorithms leads to major misdiagnosis and therefore common mistreatment. I plan to continue my work on biomarker discovery to reliable distinguish and diagnose the main killers of children in the developing world. The use of such biomarkers as part of protein-based immunocromatographic rapid diagnostic tests could revolution the diagnosis of pneumonia, sepsis and other infections (similarly to what has occurred in malaria), thus bypassing the need for high-tech, labour-intensive and expensive technologies in these resource-constrained settings.

A second major knowledge gap that he aims to address is the poor understanding of the causes of death in the developing world. Astonishingly, in the 21st century, the majority of deaths occurring in poor countries remain inadequately studied and thus poorly characterized, and there is an urgent need for improved tools for cause of death (CoD) investigation (particularly blatant for children). Some of his research, ongoing in various countries at the moment, attempts to develop new, minimally invasive, post-mortem sampling tools that could offer an acceptable and feasible alternative to other existing methodologies for CoD investigation, such as the conventional autopsy. This post-mortem work also offers a unique platform for future microbiological and pathophysiological studies (using biopsy tissues) of life-threatening infections.

Finally, he pictures myself in years to come working in the evaluation and deployment of drugs that not only can influence the course of a disease (malaria, yaws, etc.) but also can eventually contribute to its elimination. Such an ambitious objective will necessarily require thorough research on the safety, efficacy, effectiveness and impact of the population-wide use of new or existing drugs in such settings.


Main Publications

  • García-Basteiro AL, Ismail MR, Carrilho C, Ussene E, Castillo P, Jordão D, Lovane L, Lorenzoni C, Martínez MJ, Ordi J, Menéndez C, Bassat Q. "Pomegranate" Spleen in Disseminated Tuberculosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Aug 1;192(3):387-8.
  • Lanaspa M, O'Callaghan-Gordo C, Machevo S, Madrid L, Nhampossa T, Acácio S, Horra C, Friaza V, Campano E, Alonso PL, Calderón E, Roca A, Bassat Q. High prevalence of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia among Mozambican children < 5 years of age admitted to hospital with clinical severe pneumonia. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2015 Jul 28. pii: S1198-743X(15)00728-4.
  • Rovira G, Cooke EF, Mucavele H, Sitoe A, Madrid L, Nhampossa T, Garrine M, Massora S, Cossa A, Mandomando I, Bassat Q. The Challenge of Diagnosing and Treating Staphylococcus aureus Invasive Infections in a Resource-limited Sub-Saharan Africa Setting: A Case Report. J Trop Pediatr. 2015 Jul 17. pii: fmv045. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Jroundi I, Mahraoui C, Benmessaoud R, Moraleda C, Tligui H, Seffar M, Kettani SE, Benjelloun BS, Chaacho S, Muñoz-Almagro C, Ruiz J, Alonso PL, Bassat Q. A comparison of human metapneumovirus and respiratory syncytial virus WHO-defined severe pneumonia in Moroccan children. Epidemiol Infect. 2015 Jul 6:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Lanaspa M, Balcells R, Sacoor C, Nhama A, Aponte JJ, Bassat Q. The performance of the Expanded Programme on Immunization in a rural area of Mozambique. Acta Trop. 2015 Jun 18.
  • Jroundi I, Mahraoui C, Benmessaoud R, Moraleda C, Benjelloun B, Bassat Q. Arch Public Health. 2015 Jun 15;73(1):28. doi: 10.1186/s13690-015-0076-x. eCollection 2015.
  • Bassat Q, Ogutu B, Djimde A, Stricker K, Hamed K. Tailoring formulations to patients in need: Experience with the paediatric formulation of artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem® Dispersible) for the treatment of P. falciparum malaria. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2015 May 26. pii: AAC.00014-15. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Siqueira AM, Lacerda MV, Magalhães BM, Mourão MP, Melo GC, Alexandre MA, Alecrim MG, Kochar D, Kochar S, Kochar A, Nayak K, Del Portillo H, Guinovart C, Alonso P, Bassat Q. Characterization of Plasmodium vivax-associated admissions to reference hospitals in Brazil and India. BMC Med. 2015 Mar 20;13(1):57. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Mitjà O, Houinei W, Moses P, Kapa A, Paru R, Hays R, Lukehaart S, Godornes C, Bieb SV, Grice T, Siba P, Mabey D, Sanz S, Alonso PL, Asiedu K, Bassat Q. Mass Treatment with Single-Dose Azithromycin for Yaws. N Engl J Med. 2015 Feb 19;372(8):703-710.
  • Madrid L, Lanaspa M, Maculuve SA, Bassat Q. Malaria-associated hypoglycaemia in children. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2014 Dec 26:1-11.
  • Lanaspa M, Madrid L, Bassat Q. Biomarker discovery for childhood infections: paving the way for a diagnostic revolution in the developing world. Biomark Med. 2014 Oct;8(9):1057-60.
  • Jroundi I, Mahraoui C, Benmessaoud R, Moraleda C, Tligui H, Seffar M, Kettani SE, Benjelloun BS, Chaacho S, Muñoz-Almagro C, Ruiz J, Alonso PL, Bassat Q. Risk factors for a poor outcome among children admitted with clinically severe pneumonia to a university hospital in Rabat, Morocco. Int J Infect Dis. 2014 Oct 8. pii: S1201-9712(14)01612-9.
  • Bassat Q. The Importance of Being vivax. J Trop Pediatr. 2014 Oct;60(5):335-7.
  • Oriol Mitjà, Sheila A Lukehart , Gideon Pokowas, Penias Moses, August Kapa, Charmie Godornes, Jennifer Robson, Sarah Cherian, Wendy Houinei, Walter Kazadi, Peter Siba, Elisa de Lazzari, Quique Bassat. Haemophilus ducreyi as a cause of skin ulcers in children from a yaws-endemic area of Papua New Guinea: a prospective cohort study. Lancet Glob Health. 2014 Apr;2(4):e235-e241.
  • Muñoz J, Rojo-Marcos G, Ramírez-Olivencia G, Salas-Coronas J, Treviño B, Perez Arellano JL, Torrús D, Muñoz Vilches MJ, Ramos JM, Alegría I, López-Vélez R, Aldasoro E, Perez-Molina JA, Rubio JM, Bassat Q. [Diagnosis and treatment of imported malaria in Spain: Recommendations from the Malaria Working Group of the Spanish Society of Tropical Medicine and International Health (SEMTSI).] Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2014 Mar 20. pii: S0213-005X(14)00019-6. doi: 10.1016/j.eimc.2013.12.014. [Epub ahead of print] Review. Spanish.
  • Jroundi I, Mahraoui C, Benmessaoud R, Moraleda C, Tligui H, Seffar M, Kettani SC, Benjelloun BS, Chaacho S, Maaroufi A, Hayes EB, Alvarez-Martínez MJ, Muñoz-Almagro C, Ruiz J, Alonso PL, Bassat Q. The epidemiology and aetiology of infections in children admitted with clinical severe pneumonia to a university hospital in Rabat, Morocco. J Trop Pediatr. 2014 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Lanaspa M, Annamalay AA, Lesouëf P, Bassat Q. Epidemiology, etiology, x-ray features, importance of co-infections and clinical features of viral pneumonia in developing countries. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2014 Jan;12(1):31-47. doi: 10.1586/14787210.2014.866517. PMID: 24410617 [PubMed - in process]
  • Mitjà O, Smajs D, Bassat Q. Advances in the diagnosis of endemic treponematoses: yaws, bejel, and pinta. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 Oct 24;7(10):e2283.
  • Bassat Q. Maternal immunization: An intelligent solution to reduce the hidden burden of group B streptococcus perinatal disease. J Trop Pediatr. 2013 Oct;59(5):333-337.
  • Mitjà O, Bassat Q. Developments in therapy and diagnosis of yaws and future prospects. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2013 Sep 27. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Lanaspa M, Valim C, Acacio S, Almendinger K, Ahmad R, Wiegand R, Bassat Q. High reliability in respiratory rate assessment in children with respiratory symptomatology in a rural area in Mozambique. J Trop Pediatr. 2014 Apr;60(2):93-8. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmt081. Epub 2013 Sep 25.
  • Quique Bassat, Jaume Ordi, Jordi Vila, Mamudo R Ismail, Carla Carrilho, Marcus Lacerda, Khátia Munguambe, Frank Odhiambo, Bertrand Lell, Samba Sow, Zulfiqar A Bhutta, N Regina Rabinovich, Pedro L Alonso, Clara Menéndez. Development of a post-mortem procedure to reduce the uncertainty regarding causes of death in developing countries. Lancet Glob Health. 2013 Sep;1(3):e125-e126.
  • Mitjà O, Paru R, Betuela I, Siba P, De Lazzari E, Bassat Q. Malaria epidemiology in Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea. Malar J. 2013 Mar 15;12(1):98. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Lacerda MV, Fragoso SC, Alecrim MG, Alexandre MA, Magalhães BM, Siqueira AM, Ferreira LC, Araújo JR, Mourão M, Ferrer M, Castillo P, Martin-Jaular L, Fernandez-Becerra C, Del Portillo H, Ordi J, Alonso P, Bassat Q. Postmortem Characterization of Patients with Clinical Diagnosis of Plasmodium vivax Malaria: To What Extent does this Parasite Kill? Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Oct;55(8):e67-74. Epub 2012 Jul 6.
  • Mitjà O, Hays R, Van Straten C, Robson J, Koka M, Bassat Q. Mycetoma Caused by Nocardia yamanashiensis, Papua New Guinea. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012 Jun;86(6):1043-5.
  • Mitjà O, Hays R, Rinaldi AC, Dermott RM, Bassat Q. New treatment schemes for yaws: the path towards eradication. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Aug;55(3):406-12. doi: 10.1093/cid/cis444. Epub 2012 May 18. Review.
  • Lanaspa M, Moraleda C, Machevo S, González R, Serrano B, Macete E, Cisteró P, Mayor A, Hutchinson D, Kremsner PG, Alonso P, Menéndez C, Bassat Q. Inadequate efficacy of a new formulation of fosmidomycin-clindamycin combination in Mozambican children aged <3 years with uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Jun;56(6):2923-8.
  • Mitjà O, Hays R, Ipai A, Penias M, Paru R, Fagaho D, de Lazzari E, Bassat Q. Single-dose azithromycin versus benzathine benzylpenicillin for treatment of yaws in children in Papua New Guinea: an open-label, non-inferiority, randomised trial. Lancet. 2012 Jan 28;379(9813):342-7.
  • Bassat Q. The Use of Artemether-Lumefantrine for the Treatment of Uncomplicated Plasmodium vivax Malaria. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Dec;5(12):e1325. Epub 2011 Dec 27.
  • Bassat Q, Gonzalez R, Machevo S, Nahum A, Lyimo J, Maiga H, Martensson A, Bashraheil M, Ouma P, Ubben D, Walter V, Nwaiwu O, Kipkeu C, Lefevre G, Ogutu B, Menendez C. Similar efficacy and safety of artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem(R)) in African infants and children with uncomplicated falciparum malaria across different body weight ranges. Malar J. 2011 Dec 16;10(1):369. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Bassat Q, Machevo S, O'Callaghan-Gordo C, Sigaúque B, Morais L, Díez-Padrisa N, Ribó JL, Mandomando I, Nhampossa T, Ayala E, Sanz S, Weber M, Roca A, Alonso PL. Distinguishing Malaria from Severe Pneumonia among Hospitalized Children who Fulfilled Integrated Management of Childhood Illness Criteria for Both Diseases: A Hospital-Based Study in Mozambique. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2011 Oct;85(4):626-34.
  • Mitjà O, Hays R, Malken J, Ipai A, Kangapu S, Robson J, Bassat Q. HMS-Related Hemolysis after Acute Attacks of Plasmodium vivax Malaria. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2011 Oct;85(4):616-8.
  • Gargano N, Cenci F, Bassat Q. Antimalarial efficacy of piperaquine-based antimalarial combination therapies: facts and uncertainties. Trop Med Int Health. 2011 Dec;16(12):1466-73.
  • Diez-Padrisa, N., Aguilar, R., Machevo, S., Morais, L., Nhampossa, T., O'Callaghan-Gordo, C., Nhalungo, D., Menendez, C., Roca, A., Alonso, P. L., Bassat, Q. Erythropoietin levels are not independently associated with malaria-attributable severe disease in mozambican children. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e24090
  • Mitjà O, Paru R, Hays R, Griffin L, Laban N, Samson M, Bassat Q. The impact of a filariasis control program on Lihir island, Papua New Guinea. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Aug;5(8):e1286. Epub 2011 Aug 23.
  • Mitjà O, Hays R, Ipai A, Gubaila D, Lelngei F, Kiara M, Paru R, Bassat Q. Outcome predictors in treatment of yaws. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011 Jun;17(6):1803-085.
  • Mitjà O, Hays R, Lelngei F, Laban N, Ipai A, Pakarui S, Bassat Q. Challenges in recognition and diagnosis of yaws in children in Papua new Guinea. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2011 Jul;85(1):113-6.
  • Mitja O; Hays R; Ipai A; Wau B; Bassat Q. Osteoperiostitis in Early Yaws: Case Series and Literature Review. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2011; 52: 771-774
  • Bassat Q, Alonso PL. Defying malaria: Fathoming severe Plasmodium vivax disease. Nat Med. 2011 Jan; 17(1):48-9.
  • Bassat Q, Mulenga M, Tinto H, Piola P, Borrmann S, Menéndez C et al. Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine and Artemether-Lumefantrine for Treating Uncomplicated Malaria in African Children: A Randomised, Non-Inferiority Trial. PLoS ONE: 2009; 4(11): e7371
  • Bassat Q, Guinovart C, Sigauque B, Mandomando I, Aide P, Sacarlal J, Nhampossa T, Bardaji A, Morais L, Machevo S, Letang E, Macete E, Aponte JJ, Roca A, Menendez C, Alonso PL. Severe malaria and concomitant bacteraemia in children admitted to a rural Mozambican hospital. Trop Med Int Health 2009 Sep;14(9):1011-9.
  • Bassat Q, Guinovart C, Sigauque B, Aide P, Sacarlal J, Nhampossa T, Bardaji A, Nhacolo A, Macete E, Mandomando I, Aponte JJ, Menendez C, Alonso PL. Malaria in rural Mozambique. Part II: children admitted to hospital. Malar J. 2008; 7: 37.