Scaling-up Packages of Interventions for Cardiovascular disease prevention in selected sites in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: An implementation research (SPICES)

Abstract

The overall research objective of the SPICES project is to implement and evaluate a comprehensive CVD prevention and control program in five settings: a rural & semi-urban community in a low-income country (Uganda), middle income (South Africa) and vulnerable groups in three high-income countries (Belgium, France and United Kingdom) as well as to identify and compare the barriers and facilitators across study contexts. The project will be evaluated using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. At the beginning of the project, we will conduct baseline assessments including literature reviews, formative studies, household surveys (where feasible) and learn lessons from other projects to understand healthcare and lifestyle practices, barriers, and facilitators. A costeffectiveness and cost benefit analysis will be included. In addition, the teams will conduct site exchanges visits to learn from each other and organise policy dialogues to ensure sustainability and maximise impact of the interventions.

Funding(s)

Researcher(s)

  • Principal investigator: Bastiaens Hilde
  • Co-principal investigator: Anthierens Sibyl
  • Co-principal investigator: Van geertruyden Jean-Pierre
  • Co-principal investigator: Van Royen Paul

Research team(s)

Primary and interdisciplinary care Antwerp (ELIZA)

Period

01/01/2017 -31/12/2021

Website

www.spicesproject.eu

Development of a Centre for Whole Genome Sequencing studies of Mycobacterium.

Abstract

Tuberculosis (TB) is a global problem, with > 9 million cases annually and rising numbers of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). In the 1990's, IS6110 DNA fingerprinting revolutionized the study of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). Using this technique, I performed groundbreaking studies that proved exogenous reinfection, challenged the dogma that most TB cases are due to re-activation of latent infection, opposed the belief that most MDR-TB is acquired, and demonstrated mixed infection (NEJM 1999, JID 1999, Lancet 2000, AJCCRM 2005). The recent development of high-throughput, relatively low-cost whole genome sequencing (WGS) raises again the promise of significant gains in molecular epidemiology of MTB. Arriving at new paradigms however demands that inferences of WGS data on phylogeny, transmissibility, virulence and resistance are contextualized and integrated with clinical and demographic meta-data in large-scale studies to test the hypotheses generated by small-scale studies on isolates collected in low TB burden countries. As a clinical and molecular epidemiologist, I propose to establish and direct a multidisciplinary Centre for WGS studies of MTB at the University of Antwerp. The Centre will embed itself in the molecular microbiology laboratory of Prof Herman Goossens, who has substantial expertise in WGS research of pathogens other than MTB. The Centre will work in close collaboration with Prof Robin Warren of the South African Centre of Excellence for Biomedical Tuberculosis Research (CEBTR), Stellenbosch University. Access to the ~50,000 MTB strains in the CEBTR biobank will provide a unique opportunity for the Centre to perform molecular epidemiological MTB studies that address ground-breaking basic science and molecular epidemiological questions. To maximize the public health gains of WGS, we will focus on studies of MTB transmission dynamics in a high TB burden setting, the role of epistatis in emergence of drug resistance, MTB adaptation to drug pressure, and within-host MTB diversity.

Funding(s)

FWO

Researcher(s)

Principal investigator: Van Rie Annelies

Period

01/10/2016 - 30/09/2021

Combining Xpert and GIS to identify areas with high TB transmission

Description:

The research investigates the use of the Xpert MTB/RIF assay cycle threshold as a measure of MTB infectious pressure and lay the ground work for innovative advanced surveillance of TB transmission as well as the development of novel, targeted interventions to help break the cycle of transmission of drug sensitive and drug resistant TB

Funding source:

US National Institute of Health

Total amount of funding:

+/- € 317,000

Funding period:

2015-2017

Role of EfGHI:

Prof Annelies Van Rie is co-Principal Investigator (South Africa PI Scott)

Partner:

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Innovative approaches to integrated primary care for marginalized, at-risk populations in informal settlements in urban South Africa

Description:

Sub-studies of this large project aim to identify (1) the optimal sampling methods and diagnostic assays to diagnose pediatric tuberculosis at primary care level and (2) TB care and treatment default tracing and active household TB case finding by community health workers.

Funding source:

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Total ammount of funding:

+/- € 12 million

Funding period:

2012 - 2017

Role of EfGHI:

Prof Annelies Van Rie is co-Principal Investigator

Partners:

Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa (Dr Jean Bassett),
University of John Hopkins, Baltimore, USA (Prof Colleen Hanrahan)

Partner programme (2010-2019) for Institutional University Cooperation between University of Limpopo, Republic of South Africa and the Flemish Universities.

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand VLIR. UA provides VLIR research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

The overall program focus is on “Human Wellness in the context of Global Change - finding solutions for rural Africa”, with 6 project focus areas:

  • Data management, statistical analysis and GIS
  • Prevention, control and integrated management of chronic diseases
  • Multiple literacies
  • Laboratory science and public health management of sexually transmitted infections
  • The impact of land-use on functions of the Limpopo and Oliphant’s river systems
  • Food security

These focus area entails research, teaching and community outreach activities. The overall objectives are to strengthen capacity of staff and students, research, and community engagement through integrated, multi-disciplinary research projects, ultimately aimed at rural community beneficiation.

Funding source:

VLIR-UOS

Funding:

+/- € 2,8 million

Researcher(s)

Principal investigator: Colebunders Robert, Jean-Pierre Van geertruyden

Funding period

01/01/2010-31/12/2019

Partners:

University of Limpopo (Profs K. Ayisi, M. Lesaoana, T. Sodi, T, Mahlapahlapana, Nchabeleng, A. Jooste, and J. Ng’ambi ),
UHasselt (Prof C. Faes),
Uantwerpen (Profs H. Bastiaens, J.P. Bogers, and L. Bervoets),
UGent (Prof M. Valcke),
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Prof E. Van Driessche)
and over 40 other Flemish senior researchers

Website

http://www.vlir-iuclimpopo.com

European and South African HIV co-infection research consortium (ESAHIV coinfRes).

Abstract

The overall aim of the proposed staff exchange program is to establish a long lasting collaboration between South African and European research teams involved in HIV coinfection research. This effort ultimately should lead to new ways to improve the
care/treatment for patients with HIV co-infections and to decrease the high mortality among persons with HIV infection in Africa.

Funding(s)

EU-KADER

Researcher(s)

Principal investigator: Van geertruyden Jean-Pierre

Period

01/11/2011-31/10/2015

Optimal dosing of 1st line antituberculosis and antiretroviral drugs in children- a pharmacokinetic study

Description:

This study will evaluate the 2010 WHO dosing recommendations for first line antituberculosis drugs in HIV-infected and uninfected children in South Africa and Malawi.

Funding source:

US National Institute of Health

Total ammount of funding:

+/- € 1.9 million

Funding period:

2011 - 2016

Role of EfGHI:

Prof Annelies Van Rie is a co-investigator

Partner:

University of Cape Town (Helen McIlleron, PI)

Set up of HPV reference centre and establishment of HPV research network within the African.

Abstract

HPV is the main, almost unique cause of cervix carcinoma in adult women. Unfortunately, currently, many African countries lack comprehensive data on the circulating HPV types and Africa may harbor a variety of unexplored circulating HPV types which are uniquely distributed in various cancers and benign lesions.
This NSS initiative will establish a HPV research network between several VLIR partners of whom some are already conducting HPV and/or cervix carcinoma research with own VLIR-UOS funding.

Funding(s)

VLIR-UOS

Researcher(s)

Principal investigator: Bogers John-Paul, Jean-Pierre Van geertruyden

Period

13/12/2013-31/05/2015

Website

www.wakahpvafrica.com

An international academic Family Medicine Network on interprofessional collaboration

Abstract

The aim of the project is to create an international platform for the participating universities to exchange case-driven experiences and proven solutions at two levels: 1. train FM/PHC professionals in the competencies of interprofessional team working in the participating countries by exchanging working experiences via an interactive web-based platform and 2. increase knowledge, skills and expertise about early recognition and self-management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) ) through interprofessional learning at community health centres (CHCs) and private clinics in urban and rural areas.

Though the focus of the case-based experiences will be on T2DM early detection and self-management, the main purpose of this project will be on exchanging needs and experiences for working interprofessionally by the participating academic centres via a web-based platform. There will be a yearly live meeting and regular (bimonthly) webinars or digital meetings (zoom, skype, …) of the leading teams in the different countries, and monthly meetings of the national network of (urban, rural, remote,…) participating CHCs and private clinics within each country.

Funding(s)

Researcher(s)

  • Johan Wens
  • Minh Tam Nguyen

Period

01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021