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Laboratory and Clinical

Lab and Clinical work in Kenya

Based at the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kenya, our clinical and laboratory work is focused on achieving the following objectives (i) defining the burden of disease from respiratory and enteric viruses within the local community based on the long-term surveillance of paediatric hospital admissions with severe pneumonia or diarrhoea, (ii) developing understanding of the immunological mechanisms associated with severe life-threatening respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) disease in early infancy taking a systems biology approach, (iii) improving our understanding of the patterns of transmission (introductions, persistence, fadeout) of respiratory viruses at various spatial scales from households and schools, to local community, nationally across Kenya and across the African continent, by integrating virus genomic sequence, epidemiological and social behavioural data, and (iv) evaluating the impact of viral vaccine interventions – such as rotavirus. Data from virus surveillance is shared with the Kenya Ministry of Health and international agencies. Our laboratory is equipped to undertake molecular diagnostics and antigen detection for a wide range of pneumonia and diarrhoea causing viruses, with capacity to undertake conventional Sanger and Next Generation (Illumina Miseq) sequencing and associated bioinformatics. Serological assays, cell culture and neutralisation assays are established for RSV. Systems biology approach is supported by RNAseq, mass spectrometry, flow cytometry and luminex cytokine systems. We have capacity to undertake early phase vaccine trials and evaluate vaccine interventions. Further information see