Albert Icksang Ko, MD

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

Research Interests

Dengue; Epidemiology; Leptospirosis; Urban Health; Global Health; Meningitis, Bacterial; Infectious Disease Medicine

Public Health Interests

Epidemiology Methods; Infectious Disease Transmission; Social inequalities; Zoonosis

Research Organizations

School of Public Health: Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases: Vector-borne | YSPH Global Health Concentration

Infectious Diseases

CPIRT - Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment

Global Health Initiative

Office of Cooperative Research

Research Summary

Dr. Ko’s research centers on the health problems that have emerged as a consequence of rapid urbanization and social inequity. He coordinates a research and training program on urban slum health in Brazil and conducts prospective cohort studies on leptospirosis, dengue, meningitis and respiratory infections. His research combines multidisciplinary epidemiology, ecology and translational research-based approaches to identify prevention and control strategies that can be implemented in slum communities. More recently, Dr. Ko and his team has mobilized the public health research capacity at their site in the city of Salvador to investigate the on-going outbreak of Zika virus infection and microcephaly.

Specialized Terms: Urban slum health, Leptospirosis; Dengue; Bacterial meningitis; Vaccine preventable diseases; Zika viral infections

Extensive Research Description

  • 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

Selected Publications

  • A novel flagellar sheath protein, FcpA, determines filament coiling, translational motility and virulence for the Leptospira spirochete Mol Microbiol. 2016. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13403
  • Leptospira: The dawn of the molecular genetics era for an emerging zoonotic pathogen Nature Rev Microbiol. 2009;7(10)736-47.
  • Zika Virus Infection and Stillbirths: A Case of Hydrops Fetalis, Hydranencephaly and Fetal Demise PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Feb 25;10(2):e0004517. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004517
  • Ocular Findings in Infants with Microcephaly Associated with Presumed Zika Virus Congenital Infection in Salvador, Brazil JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016 Feb 9. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.0267
  • Spatiotemporal determinants of urban leptospirosis transmission: Four-year prospective cohort study of slum residents in Brazil PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Jan 15;10(1):e0004275. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004275.
  • Global Morbidity and Mortality of Leptospirosis: A Systematic Review. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 September; 9(9): e0003898.
  • Urban epidemic of severe Leptospirosis in Brazil Lancet 1999;354:820-825

Edit this profile

Contact Info

Albert Icksang Ko, MD
Office Location
Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health
60 College Street

New Haven, CT 06510
View on map...
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 208034
New Haven, CT 06520-8034

Curriculum Vitae

Research Image 1

Resident clearing out open sewer.

Research Image 2

Leptospira adhering to mammalian host cells

Research Image 3

Resident showing level of flooding