Wendy P O'Meara, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Research Professor of Global Health
Campus mail Eldoret Kenya, Box 90519, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 613-4406
Email address wendy.omeara@duke.edu

Dr. O'Meara has been working in the field of malaria diagnosis, treatment, and drug resistance since 2004. She is an Associate Professor at Duke University Medical School in the Division of Infectious Diseases, visiting professor at Moi University, and the Co-Field Director of Research for AMPATH.  She has been based full-time in Kenya since 2007.

Dr. O’Meara’s team is interested in improving rational drug use for suspected malaria fevers through expanding the use of diagnostic tools in the community and in health facilities.  As many as 90% of fevers that seek treatment in the formal sector receive antimalarials, and it is estimated that only 20% of those buying antimalarials over-the-counter in the retail sector actually have malaria.  Such overuse poses a significant threat to the continued efficacy of first-line antimalarials. Dr. O’Meara has conducted several randomized controlled trials in western Kenya to test interventions designed to improve the use of information from malaria diagnostic testing in order to target antimalarials to those with confirmed infection. In 2005, she helped to establish the Malaria Diagnostic Centre of Excellence in Kisumu, Kenya.

Recently, she concluded a case-controlled study with colleagues at Moi University that identified the major determinants of insecticide treated bednet failure in western Kenya. Among other results, the study showed that asymptomatically infected household members may be a risk factor for children living in the same household. Current work is extending this observation by leveraging variability in key parasite genes to describe the spatial mixing of malaria infections and track generations of infections from humans to mosquitoes (collaboration with Steve Taylor’s lab).

Dr. O’Meara has experience in marrying innovative spatial techniques with epidemiologic outcomes.  Recent work includes an analysis of health systems factors that contribute to early childhood mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003

Publications

Mangeni, Judith Nekesa, Andrew Obala, Dismas Ongore, Ann Mwangi, and Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara. “PREVALENCE OF ASYMPTOMATIC MALARIA INFECTIONS AND ASSOCIATED RISK FACTORS IN A HIGH TRANSMISSION REGION IN WESTERN KENYA.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 95:289–289. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2017.

Scholars@Duke

Levitt, Brandt, Wendy P. O’Meara, Scott Langdon, and Steve M. Taylor. “MULTIPLEX BARCODED NEXT-GENERATION SEQUENCING OF MULTICLONAL PLASMODIUM FALCIPARUM GENOTYPES.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 95:500–500. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2017.

Scholars@Duke

Laktabai, Jeremiah, Diana Menya, and Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara. “POLYPHARMACY, TREATMENT SEEKING, AND DIAGNOSTIC TESTING IN A POPULATION-BASED SURVEY OF FEBRILE ILLNESS IN WESTERN KENYA.” In American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 95:575–575. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE, 2017.

Scholars@Duke

Saran, Indrani, Elisa M. Maffioli, Diana Menya, and Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara. “Household beliefs about malaria testing and treatment in Western Kenya: the role of health worker adherence to malaria test results..” Malar J 16, no. 1 (August 22, 2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-017-1993-7.

PMID
28830439
Full Text

Simmons, Ryan A., Leonard Mboera, Marie Lynn Miranda, Alison Morris, Gillian Stresman, Elizabeth L. Turner, Randall Kramer, Chris Drakeley, and Wendy P. O’Meara. “A longitudinal cohort study of malaria exposure and changing serostatus in a malaria endemic area of rural Tanzania..” Malar J 16, no. 1 (August 2, 2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-017-1945-2.

PMID
28764717
Full Text

Boyce, Matthew R., and Wendy P. O’Meara. “Use of malaria RDTs in various health contexts across sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review..” Bmc Public Health 17, no. 1 (May 18, 2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4398-1.

PMID
28521798
Full Text

Laktabai, Jeremiah, Adriane Lesser, Alyssa Platt, Elisa Maffioli, Manoj Mohanan, Diana Menya, Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara, and Elizabeth L. Turner. “Innovative public-private partnership to target subsidised antimalarials: a study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate a community intervention in Western Kenya..” Bmj Open 7, no. 3 (March 20, 2017). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013972.

PMID
28320794
Full Text

Anthopolos, Rebecca, Ryan Simmons, and Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara. “A retrospective cohort study to quantify the contribution of health systems to child survival in Kenya: 1996-2014..” Sci Rep 7 (March 14, 2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep44309.

PMID
28290505
Full Text

Laktabai, Jeremiah, Adriane Lesser, Alyssa Platt, Elisa Maffioli, Manoj Mohanan, Diana Menya, Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara, and Elizabeth L. Turner. “Innovative public-private partnership to target subsidised antimalarials: a study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate a community intervention in Western Kenya.” Bmj Open 7, no. 3 (March 2017). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013972.

Full Text

Maffioli, Elisa, Wendy Prudhomme O’Meara, Elizabeth L. Turner, and Manoj Mohanan. “Can Individuals’ Beliefs Help Us Understand Nonadherence to Malaria Test Results? Evidence from Rural Kenya.” Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (Erid) Working Paper, no. 243 (February 3, 2017).

Scholars@Duke

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