The Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria have a remarkable talent for survival. They can evade the human immune system, develop resistance to antimalarial drugs, and cope with changes in the Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit them from person to person.

This biological tenacity stems from the accumulation of small changes in the parasite genome, which allow parasite populations to adapt to new circumstances by evolutionary selection.

The continual evolution of the parasite genome is a major obstacle to malaria control, but we're moving closer to a time when genomics can help us to answer crucial questions about malaria parasites: Where are parasites coming from? Which parasites are drug resistant – or likely to become drug resistant? Where drug resistance is detected, is it a new occurrence or is it spreading from other areas?

Forewarned is forearmed, and we aim to improve the sustainability and efficacy of malaria control measures by providing a rapid means of tracking evolutionary changes in response to environmental fluctuations and malaria control interventions.

What we've done