The GAARDian project leverages the resources t developed in part by the GAARD project to develop a supported network of sub-Saharan African vector biologists, who work closely with their respective ministries of health. The aim is to enable these to design, implement and analyse genomic studies of malaria vectors to understand the evolution of insecticide resistance and its impact on control.
There is a growing acceptance that population genomic technologies will only help to alleviate infectious disease burden with improved sampling design and when extensive individual and population level metadata (collection location, infection/ disease state etc) accompany each sequenced sample.
For the problem of insecticide resistance in the major malaria vector Anopheles gambiae the skills to collect and phenotype specimens lie with SSA scientists whilst the skills to sequence and analyse the data are held in the major research institutes in the North. This Global Challenges Research Fund foundation award (http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/gcrf/) is designed to draw together these two groups with support from a world-leading spatial statistics group around the key issue of insecticide resistance evolution.