Zuleima Pava Imitola
Phone: +61 7 3845 3056
Dr Zuleima Pava Imitola joined QIMR Berghofer in 2017. Her career has focused towards developing surveillance tools that complement and strengthen the information provided to health authorities and health care providers to take decisions. She graduated from the Universidad del Valle, Colombia, with a Bachelor of Bacteriology and Clinical laboratory. She started her career participating in the proof of concept of a field-based in vitro surveillance system of P. falciparum’s susceptibility to antimalarials, in remote areas of Colombia. In addition, she participated in the WHO initiative, “Quality control of rapid diagnosis test (RDT)” demonstrating the variable expression of a common biomarker used for malaria diagnostics (pfHRP2) including, the circulation of P. falciparum pfHRP2 negative isolates in Colombia. Zuleima obtained her Master’s degree in Epidemiology in the Institute “Pedro Kouri” in Cuba. Here, she gained experience in entomology studying the impact of insecticide resistance in chemical control of Aedes aegypti. This study found a striking lack of evidence supporting the association between insecticide resistance reports and vector indices thus highlighting the need to improve study design and study end-points. Zuleima further pursued her academic development by completing a PhD at Menzies School of Health Research on the “Molecular epidemiology of Papua, Indonesia”. Her thesis demonstrated the benefit of incorporating molecular tools into traditional surveillance. It included: characterising the asymptomatic malaria reservoir and its impact on clinical disease, and transmission dynamics; the suitability of passive molecular surveillance and its usefulness to measure the effect of malaria control interventions and finally, the utility of a putative molecular marker of chloroquine resistance in P. vivax.
Current QIMR Berghofer appointment
- 2018 – current: Post-doctoral researcher at Clinical Tropical Medicine
- 2007 – 2010: Research assistant – Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Medicas (CIDEIM), Cali, Colombia
Current Area of Research
Currently, Zuleima is working on malaria transmission, specifically in i) determining the short and long-term effect of different antimalarial drugs on gametocyte stage development and ii.) elucidating essential aspects of gametocyte-mosquito interaction by combining the Induced Blood Stage Malaria (IBSM) model and genetic and genomic tools.
- Pava Z, Handayuni I, Trianty L, Utami RAS, Tirta YK, Puspitasari AM, Burdam F, Kenangalem E, Wirjanata G, Kho S, Trimarsanto H, Anstey N, Poespoprodjo JR, Noviyanti R, Price RN, Marfurt J, Auburn S.
Passively versus actively detected malaria: Similar genetic diversity but different complexity of infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg, 2017, 97(6):1788-1796. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.17-0364
- Pava, Z, Noviyanti, R, Handayuni, I, Trimarsanto, H, Trianty, L, Burdam, F. H., … & Poespoprodjo, J, et al. Genetic micro-epidemiology of malaria in Papua Indonesia: Extensive P. vivax diversity and a distinct subpopulation of asymptomatic P. falciparum infections. PloSOne, 2017, 12(5): e0177445. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177445
- Trimarsanto H, Benavente ED, Noviyanti R, Utami RA, Trianty L, Pava Z, Getachew S, Kim JY, Goo YK, Wangchuck S, et al. VivaxGEN: An open access platform for comparative analysis of short tandem repeat genotyping data in Plasmodium vivax populations. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 2017, 11:e0005465.
- Pava Z, Burdam FH, Handayuni I, Trianty L, Utami RA, Tirta YK, Kenangalem E, Lampah D, Kusuma A, Wirjanata G, Kho S, Simpson JA, Auburn S, Douglas NM, Noviyanti R, Anstey NM, Poespoprodjo JR, Marfurt J, Price RN. Submicroscopic and Asymptomatic Plasmodium Parasitaemia Associated with Significant Risk of Anaemia in Papua, Indonesia. PLoSOne, 2016, 11(10):e0165340. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165340
- Kho S, Marfurt J, Handayuni I, Pava Z, Noviyanti R, Kusuma A, Piera KA, Burdam FH, Kenangalem E, Lampah DA, Engwerda CR, Poespoprodjo JR, Price RN, Anstey NM, Minigo G, Woodberry T. Characterization of blood dendritic and regulatory T cells in asymptomaticadults with sub-microscopic Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax infection. Malar J, 2016, 15:328.
- Pava Z, Handayuni I, Wirjanata G, To S, Trianty L, Noviyanti R, Poespoprodjo JR, Auburn S, Price R, Marfurt J. Expression of Plasmodium vivax crt-o is related to parasite stage but not ex vivo chloroquine susceptibility. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother, 2015, 60, 361–367
- Murillo Solano C, Akinyi Okoth S, Abdallah JF, Pava Z, Dorado E, Incardona S, Huber CS, Macedo de Oliveira A, Bell D, Udhayakumar V, Barnwell JW. Deletion of Plasmodium falciparum Histidine-Rich Protein 2 (pfhrp2) and Histidine-Rich Protein 3 (pfhrp3) Genes in Colombian Parasites. PLoS One, 2015, 10(7):e0131576. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131576
- Aponte SL, Díaz G, Pava Z, Echeverry DF, Ibarguen D, Rios M, Murcia LM, Quelal C, Murillo C, Gil P, Björkman A, Osorio L. Sentinel network for monitoring in vitro susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum to antimalarial drugs in Colombia: a proof of concept. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, 2011, 106 Suppl 1:123-9
- Pava Z, Echeverry D, Díaz G, Murillo C. Short report: Large variation in the detection of Histidine Rich Protein II (HRP2) in Colombian Plasmodium falciparum isolates Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 2010, 83(4):834–837
- 2014: The Australian Society of Parasitology
- 2017: Travel Award, International Conference on Plasmodium vivax Research
- 2013: Menzies Enhanced Living Scholarship, Menzies School of Health Research
- 2010: National Program of Scholarships for Postgraduate Studies, Francisco Jose de Caldas, Colombian Government
- 2008: Young Investigator Research Award, Colombian Government Research Council and the International Centre for Medical Research and Training, Colombia.
- 2017: PhD Molecular Epidemiology of Malaria in Papua Indonesia, Global Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia
- 2011: Master of Epidemiology, Instituto “Pedro Kourí”, La Habana, Cuba
- 2007: Bachelor of Science, Bacteriology and Clinical Laboratory, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia