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Focus: Tsetse transmitted African trypanosomiasis

Affiliation: Makerere University, Kampala, National Livestock Resources Research Institute, Tororo, Yale Schools of Public Health and Medicine

Contacts:Serap Aksoy, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases); Enock Matovu, PhD, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Makerere University

Site and Background
Makerere University in Kampala along with National Livestock Resources Research Institute in Tororo, have a long-standing research and training program with Yale University. The program focuses on African trypanosomiasis which is a parasitic disease transmitted by infected tsetse flies to humans and animals. The disease known as Sleeping Sickness in humans has particularly caused severe epidemics in Uganda. Diseases caused by related parasites in animals known as nagana have severe economic as well as nutritional impact widely in subSahara. Faculty at Makerere University focus on the parasitological, entomological as well as epidemiological aspects of tsetse transmitted diseases. Yale Medical School also has extensive collaborations for the training of US physicians and students at the Makerere Hospital through an exchange program. Ugandan researchers also collaborate with Yale faculty through a NIH-sponsored Global Infectious Disease Training Program (Fogarty D43 TW007391) and sponsored 13 Fogarty International Research scholars and fellows in the past 4 years. The Uganda institutes also hosted 3 Yale graduate student summer internships for sleeping sickness research in the past 5 years. Please contact the site PIs for more specific details.

1) NIAID-supported project (Next Generation Sequencing of East African Trypanosomes to Expand the Molecular Epidemiology, R21 AI094615) to develop new molecular markers and provide a universal diagnostic platform for monitoring parasites found in animal reservoirs with respect to important traits.
2) NIAID-supported project (Evolutionary genetics of tsetse and its symbionts, R01 AI068932) to study population genetics of Glossina fuscipes, its symbionts and trypanosomes in two distinct disease belts in Uganda. We investigate the biology of Wolbachia with a focus on expression of cytoplasmic incompatibility expression in the laboratory and modeling of CI-mediated spread of potential parasite refractory transgenes.
3) NIAID-supported project (Factors In Emergence of New Sleeping Sickness Foci In Uganda, R03 TW008755) to study the epidemiology of Sleeping Sickness in Uganda with a focus on role of different tsetse fly genotypes for parasite transmission.

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