Steve M Taylor, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Research Professor of Global Health
Campus mail 303 Research Drive, Sands Building #321a, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 684-5815
Email address steve.taylor@duke.edu

My lab website has a fuller description of my research activities: https://sites.duke.edu/taylorlab/.

I am principally interested in field and translational studies of falciparum malaria. These interests fall along several lines:

1) Epidemiology. Falciparum malaria is an immense problem whose contours are difficult to discern in hyperendemic regions like much of sub-Saharan Africa. I am involved in field applications of molecular genetic techniques to better define the burden of parasitemia in endemic areas and the partitioning and flux of parasite populations. We are working on techniques to generate and parse high-dimensional genomic data to better understand the structure of these parasite populations. Ultimately the goal of these investigations is to inform measures to control malaria and contain distinct parasite populations.

2) Pathogenesis. Severe malaria is a lethal disease; it is the cause of most of the 400,000 malaria deaths annually in African children. In these children, sickle-trait hemoglobin confers >90% protection from severe, life-threatening malaria. Several lines of evidence support the hypothesis that this dramatic protection results from the inability of the parasite to export parasite-derived proteins to the surface of the infected human red blood cell. We are investigating the molecular genetic correlates of this phenomenon in in vitro and ex vivo systems in order to identify mechanisms by which sickle-trait neutralizes the parasite. By leveraging this naturally-occurring model of malaria protection we hope to ultimately identify druggable targets for future antiparasitic or adjunctive therapies.

3) Diagnostics. In the field, clinical practice guidelines now recommend parasitologic diagnosis of malaria prior to treatment. Parasite detection can be confirmed by traditional microscopy or by rapid immunochromatographic tests, but each of these approaches is potentially undermined by limits of detection, operator error, and the monoplex nature of parasite testing in settings with complex pathogen epidemiology. With collaborators in Biomedical Engineering at the Pratt School of Engineering, we are developing PCR-free multiplex detection assays that utilize robust, rapid, and scalable nanoengineered platforms that target multiple bloodborne tropical pathogens in a single assay. The ultimate goal of this project is to enhance the clinical management of febrile illness in the tropics.

4) Prevention. In malaria-endemic Africa, high-risk groups that suffer disproportionate malaria morbidity clearly benefit from antimalarial chemoprevention; these groups include pregnant women across Africa and children under 5 in West Africa. African children with sickle-cell anemia also suffer significant malaria morbidity, but chemoprevention regimens that are recommended for them lack a compelling evidence base. With partners in Malawi and Kenya, we are testing new approaches to malaria chemoprevention in both pregnant women and in children with sickle-cell anemia. The goal of these projects is to enhance public health guidelines for the routine care of these high-risk groups and reduce the burden of malaria in African children.

The ultimate goals of these translational studies of falciparum malaria in children and pregnant women is to integrate epidemiologic, clinical, and molecular genetic models of disease in order to inform the rational design of medical and public health interventions to reduce the awful burden of malaria.

Education and Training

  • Gillings School of Global Public Health - Postdoctoral Fellow, Department Of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, 2008 - 2012
  • Fellowship, Infectious Diseases & International Health, Duke University School of Medicine, 2007 - 2012
  • Internship/Residency, Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 2004 - 2007
  • M.D., Duke University School of Medicine, 2004
  • M.P.H., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, 2003
  • B.S., Duke University, 1998

Publications

Leuba, Sequoia I., Daniel Westreich, Carl L. Bose, Kimberly A. Powers, Andy Olshan, Steve M. Taylor, Antoinette Tshefu, et al. “Predictors of Plasmodium falciparum Infection in the First Trimester Among Nulliparous Women From Kenya, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” J Infect Dis 225, no. 11 (June 1, 2022): 2002–10. https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiab588.

PMID
34888658
Full Text

Grassia, Jillian T., Christine F. Markwalter, Wendy P. O’Meara, Steve M. Taylor, and Andrew A. Obala. “SARS-CoV-2 Cross-Reactivity in Prepandemic Serum from Rural Malaria-Infected Persons, Cambodia.” Emerg Infect Dis 28, no. 5 (May 2022): 1080–81. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid2805.220404.

PMID
35447068
Full Text

Mahamar, Almahamoudou, Kelsey M. Sumner, Brandt Levitt, Betsy Freedman, Aliou Traore, Amadou Barry, Djibrilla Issiaka, et al. “Effect of three years' seasonal malaria chemoprevention on molecular markers of resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine and amodiaquine in Ouelessebougou, Mali.” Malar J 21, no. 1 (February 8, 2022): 39. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-022-04059-z.

PMID
35135546
Full Text

Band, Gavin, Ellen M. Leffler, Muminatou Jallow, Fatoumatta Sisay-Joof, Carolyne M. Ndila, Alexander W. Macharia, Christina Hubbart, et al. “Malaria protection due to sickle haemoglobin depends on parasite genotype.” Nature 602, no. 7895 (February 2022): 106–11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-04288-3.

PMID
34883497
Full Text

Gutman, Julie R., Carole Khairallah, Kasia Stepniewska, Harry Tagbor, Mwayiwawo Madanitsa, Matthew Cairns, Anne Joan L’lanziva, et al. “Intermittent screening and treatment with artemisinin-combination therapy versus intermittent preventive treatment with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine for malaria in pregnancy: a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials.” Eclinicalmedicine 41 (November 2021): 101160. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101160.

PMID
34746720
Full Text

Petersen, Jens E., Kelsey Sumner, Elizabeth Freedman, Judith N. Mangeni, Lucy Abel, Andrew A. Obala, Wendy Prudhomme-O’Meara, and Steve M. Taylor. “SYMPTOMATIC MALARIA IS ASSOCIATED WITH REDUCED RISK OF REINFECTION WITH PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM PARASITES HARBORING HOMOLOGOUS CIRCUMSPOROZOITE PROTEIN EPITOPES.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 105:211–211, 2021.

Scholars@Duke

Leuba, Sequoia I., Daniel Westreich, Carl L. Bose, Kimberly A. Powers, Andy Olshan, Steve M. Taylor, Antoinette Tshefu, et al. “PREDICTORS AND ASSOCIATIONS WITH MATERNAL AND BIRTH OUTCOMES OF PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM INFECTION IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER AMONG NULLIPAROUS WOMEN FROM THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, KENYA, AND ZAMBIA.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 105:354–55, 2021.

Scholars@Duke

Zeno, Erica E., Kelsey M. Sumner, Elizabeth Freedman, Lucy Abel, Andrew Obala, Judith Mangeni, Brian W. Pence, Amy Wesolowski, Wendy Prudhomme-O’Meara, and Steve M. Taylor. “PREDICTORS OF HUMAN-TO-MOSQUITO PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM TRANSMISSION IN A HIGH TRANSMISSION AREA OF WESTERN KENYA.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 105:207–8, 2021.

Scholars@Duke

Taylor, Steve M., Sarah Korwa, Cindy Green, Sheila Clapp, Angie Wu, Joseph K. Kirui, Wendy P. O’Meara, and Festus M. Njuguna. “MALARIA CHEMOPREVENTION IN KENYAN CHILDREN WITH SICKLE CELL ANEMIA: A RANDOMIZED, OPEN-LABEL, TWELVE-MONTH TRIAL COMPARING DAILY PROGUANIL, MONTHLY SULFADOXINE-PYRIMETHAMINE/AMODIAQUINE, AND MONTHLY DIHYDROARTEMISININ-PIPERAQUINE.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 105:365–365, 2021.

Scholars@Duke

Vance, Natalie M., Joseph W. Saelens, Jens E. Petersen, Elizabeth Freedman, Robert C. Moseley, Rick M. Fairhurst, Mahamadou Diakite, Steven B. Haase, and Steve M. Taylor. “QUANTIFICATION OF PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM CYCLOPHILIN 19B TRANSCRIPTS VIA QPCR IN NORMAL AND SICKLE-TRAIT HEMOGLOBIN GENOTYPES.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 105:60–60, 2021.

Scholars@Duke

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