Identification of immune mechanisms and genes associated with the high rate of relapse in patients with visceral leishmaniasis and HIV co-infections


  • Yegnasew Teferi

    Imperial College London

Project summary

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Ethiopia is caused by a parasite, Leishmania donovani. VL is worsened when the patients are co-infected with HIV and the recurrence of VL in these co-infected patients is higher than those who have VL infection only. This results in an increase in mortality among this patient group. However, little is known about the high rate of VL relapse in co-infected patients.

I propose to study the natural history of VL and HIV co-infections, identifying key immunological and genetic signature accounting for the recurrence of VL in these patients. To test this, I will follow VL and VL/HIV patients from Gondar Hospital and analyse their socio-demographic and clinical information. I also propose to identify immunological mechanisms and perform genetic analysis in different immune cells.

The results from this study will improve our understanding so that we can identify the genetic signature that accounts for the frequent relapse of VL. This might help to design a new treatment and vaccine.

This grant was awarded under the scheme's previous name of Training Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.