Targeted Next Generation Sequencing for malaria research in Africa: current status and outlook.
Ghansah A., Kamau E., Amambua-Ngwa A., Ishengoma DS., Maiga-Ascofare O., Amenga-Etego L., Deme A., Yavo W., Randrianarivelojosia M., Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa None., Ochola-Oyier LI., Helegbe GK., Bailey J., Alifrangis M., Djimde A.
Targeted Next Generation Sequencing (TNGS) is an efficient and economical Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) platform and the preferred choice when specific genomic regions are of interest. So far, only institutions located in middle and high-income countries have developed and implemented the technology, however, the efficiency and cost savings, as opposed to more traditional sequencing methodologies (e.g. Sanger sequencing) make the approach potentially well suited for resource-constrained regions as well. In April 2018, scientists from the Plasmodium Diversity Network Africa (PDNA) and collaborators met during the 7th Pan African Multilateral Initiative of Malaria (MIM) conference held in Dakar, Senegal to explore the feasibility of applying TNGS to genetic studies and malaria surveillance in Africa. The group of scientists reviewed the current experience with TNGS platforms in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and identified potential roles the technology might play to accelerate malaria research, scientific discoveries and improved public health in SSA. Research funding, infrastructure and human resources were highlighted as challenges that will have to be mitigated to enable African scientists to drive the implementation of TNGS in SSA. Current roles of important stakeholders and strategies to strengthen existing networks to effectively harness this powerful technology for malaria research of public health importance were discussed.