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

Why It Matters

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.

What We Do

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 Priorities

Our Vision

A world free from parasitic diseases

Our Mission

Save and improve lives by controlling and preventing parasitic diseases in the United States and worldwide

Our Values

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)

Who We Are


chris braden

Christopher R. Braden, MD
Acting Director, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria

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.


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