Albert Icksang Ko MD

Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Medicine (Infectious Diseases); Department Chair - Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases

Research Interests

Urban slum health, Leptospirosis; Dengue; Bacterial meningitis; Vaccine preventable diseases

Current Projects

  • Disease determinants for urban leptospirosis
  • Rapid serodiagnostic test for leptospirosis
  • Natural history of urban leptospirosis
  • Transmission of drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae in Brazil
  • Genome-level protein microarray serodiagnostic antigen discovery in leptospirosis
  • Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellows Program: Burden of leptospirosis in slum communities

Research Summary

Albert Ko is a Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. His research focuses on infectious diseases that have emerged as a consequence of rapid urbanization and urban poverty, and conducts much of his research in Brazil. Dr. Ko is particularly interested in understanding the natural history of leptospirosis, a disease that has become a health problem in urban slum environments. He also conducts research on bacterial meningitis, vaccine-preventable diseases and dengue. Dr. Ko is the head of the division of epidemiology of microbial disease at the department of epidemiology and public health at the School of Medicine.

Dr. Ko received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He is the deputy editor of Public Library of Science Neglected Tropical Diseases and is a founding member of the Urban Health Council of the Residents’ Associations of Pau da Lima. Dr. Ko is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, a member of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine and an executive board member of the International Leptospirosis Society. He is a member of the leptospirosis burden epidemiology review group at the World Health Organization and received the Clinical Infectious Disease award for outstanding review.

Selected Publications

  • Ko AI, Goarant C, Picardeau M. Leptospira: The dawn of the molecular genetics era for an emerging zoonotic pathogen. Nature Rev Microbiol. 2009;7(10)736-47.
  • Szonyi B, Agudelo-Flórez P, Ramírez M, Moreno N, Ko AI. An outbreak of severe leptospirosis in capuchin (Cebus) monkeys. Vet J. 2010 PMID: 20554228.
  • Campos LC, Carvalho MGS, Beall BW, Cordeiro SM, Takahashi D, Reis MG, Ko AI, Reis JN. Epidemiology and genetic diversity of S. pneumoniae serotype 6C isolates in Brazil. Diag Microbiol Infect Dis. 2009;65(2):112-15.
  • Ko, AI. Leptospirosis. In Cecil’s Textbook of Medicine, 23rd Ed. Goldman L, Ausiello D (eds). Saunders, Elsevier, Inc., New York, 2007, pp. 2296-2298.

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