About Our Division
CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria: Translating Science into Action
CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria (DPDM) works to protect the health of Americans and others around the world from parasitic diseases, including malaria, through evidence-based public health action.
DPDM works with a long list of domestic and international partners to
- Prevent, diagnose, and treat parasitic diseases in the United States;
- Prevent and control malaria, including co-implementing the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), which is led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID);
- Prevent, control, and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs);
- Provide cross-cutting entomologic expertise and support;
- Provide essential laboratory support to states, countries, and other partners; and
- Conduct vital research and program evaluation.
Parasitic diseases cause devastating health and economic effects for hundreds of millions of people around the world and in the United States. These diseases can be transmitted to people by insects or animals, through blood or organ donations, from mother to baby, or through contaminated food or water.
Globally, malaria and NTDs can lead to serious illness, disability and death. DPDM focuses on NTDs that can be controlled through mass drug administration (MDA) or other simple, low-cost interventions. These include lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, trachoma, soil-transmitted helminths, and Guinea worm disease.
Serious parasitic diseases like Chagas disease also occur in the United States, causing illness including seizures, blindness, infertility, heart failure, and even death.
With an annual budget of about $26 million from Congress, transfers from USAID, and other funds, DPDM
- Monitors rates of important parasitic diseases, such as malaria, to track trends and detect potential outbreaks in the United States;
- Conducts epidemiologic studies to assess the impact of parasitic diseases and understand risk factors for acquiring them, develops recommendations to prevent and control these diseases, and educates the public and healthcare providers;
- Provides consultations to healthcare providers on diagnosis and treatment of parasitic infections, conducts confirmatory laboratory testing and diagnostic training, and releases life-saving treatments that are not commercially available (through the Parasitic Disease Drug Service);
- Provides expertise in diagnosis, treatment, surveillance, monitoring, and evaluation to states and countries, U.S. government agencies, and other public health partners;
- Co-implements PMI, led by USAID, and is a technical partner in the USAID NTD Initiative; and
- Conducts operational research to improve programs, including development and evaluation of new epidemiologic, laboratory, and vector control tools.
Our work is guided by a commitment to science, service, partnership, and stronger public health capacity, and to creating a supportive environment. We continually strive to
- Apply science to improve public health;
- Provide service;
- Engage in partnership to achieve common goals;
- Build public health capacity; and
- Provide a supportive, growth-oriented environment.
Our Strategic Goals
Goal 1: Ensure prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of parasitic diseases in the United States
Goal 2: Reduce the global burden of malaria
Goal 3: Reduce the global burden of priority neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)
- World Mosquito Day 2023: Joining Forces in the Global Fight Against Malaria
- World Malaria Day 2023: Pictures of Progress
- World Chagas Disease Day 2023: How CDC strives to overcome barriers to care
- World NTD Day 2023: Following the diagnostic development pathway to better health
- World Malaria Day 2022: Country-to-country collaboration for antimalarial resistance monitoring
- Malaria vaccine recommended for broader use by WHO: “Best thing since bed nets”
- Celebrating 75 Years of CDC and 70 Years of Malaria Elimination from the United States: A Photo Essay
- World Malaria Day 2021: U.S. Malaria Cases Highest in 45 Years – Holding the Line to Protect Americans
- DPDx: Dedicated to Strengthening Laboratory Capacity for Parasitic Disease Diagnosis
- Faces of Malaria – People with Malaria Speak
Christopher Braden, MD, is the acting director of the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria (DPDM). Dr. Braden‘s permanent position is principal deputy director for NCEZID. Prior positions include director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases; associate director for science in the Division of Parasitic Diseases; and chief of outbreak response and surveillance within the Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases at the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases. Dr. Braden also served as a medical epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination.