Projects

Current Projects

Project 1: Providing the evidence base and tools for prioritising and implementing schistosomiasis control to enhance early childhood development (2017-2020)

This project aims to provide the evidence base and operational tools for appropriate prioritising and implementing treatment of preschool-aged children (PSAC) (≤5 yrs) for schistosomiasis, a neglected but still the 2nd most important parasitic disease in sub-Saharan Africa. This chronic infection typically affects people in endemic countries for 30-50% of their life. Children are exposed to infection within the first 5 years of life resulting in them carrying the heaviest infection levels during school-age years. They experience schistosome-related bladder/kidney disorders, stunted growth, impaired cognition and diminished physical fitness. Organomegaly, bladder/urethral fibrosis and bladder cancer in adulthood may result from childhood exposure. An estimated 50M African PSAC need schistosome treatment. This project will assess the impact of PSAC schistosomiasis and its treatment on vaccination response and health/development, evaluate diagnostic tools for PSAC schistosome infection/morbidity, and identify community engagement strategies for accessing PSAC for schistosome treatment.

 

Project 2: Novel intervention for African patients suffering from pathogen-induced immune disorders  (2016-2020)

The global health impact of infectious diseases at the interface with non-communicable diseases is still poorly defined. This is exacerbated by the trend to treat clinical symptoms with little investigation into the causes and aetiology of pathology and morbidity.   This is a particularly the case where the cost of diagnosis is higher than the cost of treatment. This project investigates the contribution of infectious agents to the aetiology and development of autoimmune conditions. The immunological mechansism at the interpface of the infetcion and NCD are aslo being investigated in a population of Zimbabweamn autoimmune patients.

 

Project 3:  Childhood schistosomiasis: a novel strategy extending the benefits/reach of antihelminthic treatment (2016-2018)

TThis project aims to determine the best treatment timing in terms of health benefit and demonstrate how surveillance, diagnosis and treatment of first schistosome infections can be integrated into existing health systems.

 

Project 4: Paediatric schistosomiasis: indirect, long-term impacts on health (2016-2017).

This  study focuses on a helminth infection, schistosomiasis, in preschool children (1-5year olds). The aim of the project was to optimise novel and innovative systems biology assays for assessing host health status including infection, disease clinical presentation and vaccination response.

 

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