Development and evaluation of high throughput, cheap and reliable
assays for monitoring HIV-1 and HIV-2 viral loads in ARV programmes
and clinical trials in developing countries
EDCTP Project Call
Senior Fellowship (SF)
To develop robust and affordable in-house virus load assays for
quantifying HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNA in the blood of an infected individual;
with similar sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility to currently
available commercial HIV viral load assays. A secondary objective is to
train scientists in the West Africa sub-region to encourage a wider use of
Laboratory assay development and validation
Both HIV-1 and HIV-2 are present in Gambia as in other West African countries and Cameroon. As at the time of my fellowship (and even now to the best of my knowledge) there was no commercial HIV-2 assay for treatment monitoring in HIV-2 infected patients. To address the urgent need, I led the effort (through my EDCTP Senior Fellowship) to develop, validate and implement an in-house viral load assay for both HIV-1 and HIV-2. I conducted two workshops in Banjul and Nairobi (KEMRI) where I trained scientists from West/Central Africa and East/Southern Africa respectively. My assay continued to be used at the MRC Gambia for many years after I left until the MRC HIV programme was closed at the height of the controversial claim of HIV cure by the then Gambian President AJJ Jammeh.
Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratories
Center of Medical Research Lambaréné (CERMEL)
Current Job Title
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