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NMIMR hosts two Visiting Scientists from Colorado , USA

Dr. Rosemary Rochford  a Professor of Immunology/Microbiogy and Environmental/Occupational Health at the University of Colorado and Dr. Mary Hayden a behavorial Scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research visited the Institute to acquaint themselves with the work of the Institute. The two Visiting Scientists presented at the Instutional Seminar on Tuesday 23rd January 2018 on 'the Ups and Downs of Immunity to Malaria' and 'the emergence of Zika and other climate sensitive diseases in the Americas'.

The seminar was focused on works aimed at addressing factors which modulate human risk for virus transmission including climate variability and change, socio-demographics and human behavior.

 

 

Dr. Rosemary Rochford is the Director of the University of Colorado Consortium on Climate Change and Human Health; She has a programme based at the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Kisumu, Kenya where her team studies the development of immunity to malaria in children.

In  her presentation, Dr. Rochford mentioned that, malaria-endemic regions of sub-Saharan Africa, such as western Kenya and Plasmodium falciparum infections were the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in children under the age of 5 years with infants between 6-24 months bearing the greatest brunt of these infections. According to her, immunity is usually slow to develop resulting in repeated infections throughout infancy.

She however added that several reasons have been proposed and has been generally agreed that this phenomenon was mainly due to inefficient innate and adaptive immune responses.

 

 

Dr. Mary Hayden is working on weather, climate and health related linkages. She is adjoint faculty at the University Of Colorado School of Public Health, a Guest Researcher with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a Senior Research Associate with the Trauma, Health and Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Springs. Her current work includes a focus on the human behavioral role in the transmission dynamics of the virus vector, Aedes aegypti, improving health outcomes related to human plague in East Africa through enhanced surveillance, and advancing women’s roles in the control of vector-borne diseases such as malaria through field studies in Indonesia and Kenya. She described Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as the primary vectors for dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika viruses.  She later asserted that in recent decades the vector has expanded rapidly in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and the southern United States and as a result viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes were a growing threat in the United States due to the proliferation of dengue viruses and the recent introductions of Zika and chikungunya viruses in the Americas.

 

 Abstracts

Title of presentation: The Ups and Downs of Immunity to Malaria

 Abstract: In malaria-endemic regions of sub-Saharan Africa, such as western Kenya, Plasmodium falciparum infections is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in children under the age of 5 years, with infants between 6-24 months bearing the greatest brunt of these infections. Immunity is slow to develop resulting in repeated infections throughout infancy. Several reasons have been proposed, however, it is generally agreed that this phenomenon is mainly due to inefficient innate and adaptive immune responses.  In this presentation, we will describe our studies on B cell immunity to P. falciparum in two infant cohorts in Kenya with differential exposure to malaria.  New research will be described using mass cytometry (also known as Cytometry Time Of Flight, CyTOF) to analyze immunophenotype and immune function in clinical samples. Mass cytometry allows the testing of up to 42 parameters per cell providing a more comprehensive and holistic view of the immune phenotype and an unbiased interrogation of immune function.

 

Title of presentationEmergence of Zika and other climate sensitive diseases in the Americas

AbstractAedes aegypti mosquitoes are the primary vectors for dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika viruses. In recent decades the vector has expanded rapidly in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and the southern United States. Viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes are a growing threat in the United States due the proliferation of dengue viruses and the recent introductions of Zika and chikungunya viruses in the Americas, expanding mosquito ranges in the eastern and southwestern U.S., growing numbers of travelers from endemic areas, enhanced climatic suitability for vectors, and high exposure to mosquitoes among vulnerable populations.  This presentation will focus on work aimed at addressing factors which modulate human risk for virus transmission including climate variability and change, socio-demographics and human behavior.


 

 

 

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), set up in 1979 as a semi autonomous institute of the University, is the leading biomedical research facility in Ghana.

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