WWARN appeals for worldwide cooperation to beat spread of antimalarial resistance

4 July 2011

Oxford, April 7, 2011: The WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network (WWARN) today launches a suite of online tools that will give an up-to-date and global picture of the emergence and spread of antimalarial resistance.

WWARN is appealing to malaria researchers around the world to collaborate on sharing data and to use these tools to monitor and control the disease.

By choosing World Health Day for its launch, WWARN supports this year’s call for public attention on the lethal consequences of antimicrobial resistance, focusing on the steps being taken by the malaria community to counter the challenge of antimalarial drug resistance. 

WWARN is a global network of scientists with collaborators and regional centres in malaria endemic countries, the Americas and Europe. Dr Philippe Guérin, Executive Director said “The data submission portal, accessible from our website (, reformats data from almost any source into a common format. This allows us to integrate information from many different sources, to monitor changes in drug efficacy and to identify early signs of emerging drug resistance. This platform is intended to provide intelligence informing the malaria community in its fight against antimalarial resistance.”

“Collecting and collating data from different clinical studies, global locations and researchers is a major challenge,” added Dr Guerin. “But these online tools now make it possible for researchers working anywhere in the world to make an immediate contribution to this global challenge.”

Also new on the WWARN website, the Explorer ( is an interactive tool allowing anyone anywhere to map and visualize results from antimalarial efficacy studies and supportive analyses submitted to WWARN. Dr Ambrose Talisuna, Director of the WWARN East African Regional Centre comments, “Knowing where we have gaps in our knowledge is as important as collecting existing data. We need to work with local and regional networks, agencies and funders to either find missing data, or encourage countries and scientists to carry out the necessary studies. WWARN can help by providing training to ensure we collect the best possible quality data.”

Professor Nick White, Chairman of WWARN stressed the urgency of the situation, “Antimalarial resistance is a real threat to malaria control. Emerging artemisinin resistance on the Thailand-Cambodia border underlines the urgency to preserve artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) the first-line treatment for falciparum malaria throughout the world.  The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on countries to be increasingly vigilant in monitoring antimalarial drug efficacy to prevent artemisinin resistance spreading and the increase in malaria deaths that would inevitably follow.”

Antimalarial treatment may fail for many reasons: the dose could be insufficient, the drug may be counterfeit or the parasite might have evolved resistance. WWARN’s online tools inform on all these relevant aspects of antimalarial treatment and its potential failure. 

Working with the WHO, WWARN welcomes the cooperation of the world’s researchers, public health laboratories and institutions to contribute all the available data. Oumar Gaye, Professor of Parasitology at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal and WWARN Board Member, concluded, “Only by global cooperation will we be able to ensure that anyone affected by malaria receives effective, safe treatment. We encourage everyone to visit our website, join the WWARN community, and actively contribute to the fight to defeat malaria.”



Dr Philippe Guérin, Executive Director
Tel: +44 (0)7826 651882
Email: philippe [dot] guerin [at] wwarn [dot] org 

Dr Val Tate, Media Relations
Tel:  +44 (0)7502 396704
Email: val [dot] tate [at] wwarn [dot] org



WWARN is leading a global collaboration with the vision that anyone affected by malaria will receive effective, safe drug treatment. Central to the project is a web-based database of information contributed by the scientific community, and tools to track the emergence and spread of antimalarial drug resistance. WWARN promotes training and capacity building in malaria endemic countries to improve the quality of collected data. This is done in collaboration with all stakeholders involved in tackling malaria. WWARN also provides a forum for global exchange of scientific and public health information on antimalarial drug resistance. Further information.