MRC Gambia Team’s Visit

The Genomics and Research Management Team of the Medical Research Council, The Gambia at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine (MRCG-LSHTM) led by Dr. Abdul Karim Sesay visited NIMR-Nigeria. The visit was on Capacity development and Technology transfer in Genomics research, and strengthening of collaboration between the two institutions. Other members of the MRCG-LSHTM team are Mr. Abdoulie Kanteh and Mr. Dembo Kanteh.

The MRCG-LSHTM Team facilitated a one-week hands-on SARS-CoV-2 Genome sequencing training using the Oxford Nanopore Sequencing Platform while on the visit to NIMR-Nigeria.

The key highlight of the training was on technology transfer on the use of MinION for the complete genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 recovered from nasopharyngeal samples of Nigerian COVID-19 patients and set the stage for genomic research collaborations on other infectious diseases of public health importance in Nigeria, including Malaria, Pneumonia,HIV & Diarrhea.

It also heralded the need for regular research exchange visits between researchers in NIMR and MRC, the Gambia.

Young Investigator Award

The Institut Mérieux has been committed for many years in the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and improvement of antibiotic stewardship.

The Institut Mérieux has been committed for many years in the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and improvement of antibiotic stewardship. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health issue worldwide and this aligns with the mandate of NIMR to conduct research into health problems in Nigeria with a focus on Communicable Diseases of Public Health importance in the country.

The Institute Merieux in partnership with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research will provide an incentive for promising young investigators working in the field of AMR in Nigeria by financing research based on the provision of grants and awards to enable high value-added research projects to be conducted.

The focus is on researchers or clinicians at the beginning of their career in recognition of a major achievement having significant impact on the handling of AMR and more globally on infectious disease diagnostics.

Young Investigator Award – 2021

 Institut Mérieux and Nigerian Institute of Medical Research have decided to allocate in 2021 a joint Young Investigator Award of 10,000 €, that will be given to the laureate during NIMR Annual Scientific Conference.

Selection criteria

  • Investigators/applicants are current researchers serving in a hospital or in a relevant research institution on a full time basis as infectious disease clinician, clinical or molecular microbiologist or epidemiologist.
  • With 10 or less than 10 years of clinical practice experience or 5 to 10 years of working experience in microbiology after their postgraduate qualification.
  • Involved and made significant contribution to infectious disease diagnostics, AMR research and/or patient management with a national impact.
  • Indicators of impact could be either publication(s) in prominent international journals and / or implementation of guidelines / protocols having led to significant improvements in the following areas.
    • Antimicrobial resistance control.
    • Development of new tools / approach in controlling antimicrobial resistance.
  • Adoption of an innovative approach in patient management for controlling antimicrobial resistance.
  • Any actions having led to improved control / reduction of hospital acquired infection rate.

 Selection process and Conditions.

  • Applications for the award should reach the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research on or before Midnight of Wednesday, 30th June, 2021.
  • For the award, please submit the following through email to younginvestigatoraward@nimr.gov.ng.
    • Full name of nominee and contact information (email address and phone number)
    • A brief CV of Nominee (3 pages maximum) detailing the professional history of the nominee, including a list of maximum 15 publications.
    • Two pages description of research and / or clinical projects the young researchers have performed which could be considered for the award. Attaching substantiating evidence such as publication of the nominees work is encouraged.
    • Three pages description of ongoing and future research undertaken by the applicant in the field of AMR and/or infectious disease diagnostics
    • A recommendation letter from the host institution where the nominee is working at the time of application.
  • Members of Young Investigator Award committee of NIMR will assess the applications and choose two to three suitable applications, which will be forwarded to the scientific board of Institut Mérieux with their recommendations for the selection of the laureate. The Institut Mérieux keeps the possibility not to allocate any award if none of the proposal is meeting minimum qualification for the award.
  • Institut Mérieux will notify NIMR the name of the laureate for the year 2021. NIMR will organize an award ceremony during its annual conference to be held in November, 2021.

 

Interested applicants can apply online with the attached application form

Please note that applicants must carefully read the full call document for guidance before submitting a proposal.

Contact:

Adolescent engagement in HIV research

Adolescent Engagement in HIV Research in Africa: A crowdsourcing open call

Adolescents across Africa are engaging in HIV research in innovative ways, setting a new standard for meaningful research engagement. In partnership with the Adolescent HIV Prevention and Treatment Implementation Science Alliance, our team is organizing a crowdsourcing open call. The purpose of the open call is to solicit creative ways that adolescents (14-24 years old) have participated in HIV research studies in Africa. Adolescents who submit exceptional texts, images, or videos will receive prizes.

Deadline for submissions is 31 January 2021.

Contact Kadija at africayouthopencall@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Contact Kadija at africayouthopencall@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Investigating artemisinin resistance

Investigating Artemisinin Resistance in Nigerian isolates of Plasmodium Falciparum

Malaria control gained traction after the introduction of artemisinin-based combination treatment. Unfortunately, artemisinin (ART) resistance has been reported in South-East Asia (SEA) and there are emerging reports of delayed ART sensitivity in African parasites, suggesting imminent treatment failure. As replacement antimalarial drugs are yet unavailable, monitoring artemisinin resistance in African parasites and understanding the markers of such adaptation will be important to stop resistance in its tracks. Kelch-13 gene mutations are the markers of ART resistance in SEA. However, these markers do not provide phenotypic evidence of resistance in African isolates. This suggests that mechanisms driving ART tolerance in African parasites could be independent of Kelch-13 markers. In this study, we will assess the efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum in their natural human hosts and in vitro. The public health implications of ART-based treatment failure make this proposal very crucial for early detection of ART-tolerant malaria parasites in the country.

  • Funder: EDCTP 
  • Start date: 01 January 2021
  • End date: 31 December 2023
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Members: 1
  • Principal Investigator: Dr Kolapo Oyebola

SARS-CoV-2 PARTIAL GENOME SEQUENCING

A 5-DAY TRAINING WORKSHOP ON SARS-CoV-2 PARTIAL GENOME SEQUENCING.

IMPORTANT DATES
Application Open: Wednesday, 11th November, 2020
Application closes: Midnight of Monday, 7th December, 2020
Training date: Monday – Friday, 7th – 11th December, 2020

TRAINING FACILITATORS’ PROFILES

Dr. B. Iwalokun

Biochemistry / MicrobialScience / Immunogenetics

Field of Research/Specialization

Pathogen genomics (for pathogenesis, AMR, metabolomics, evolution & transmission dynamics elucidation) & host immune response and genetic predisposition analysis (for biomarker discovery) via genomic epidemiology, SNP array, immunophenotyping  and genome-wide analysis studies

Partial SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Training role

  • Training co-ordination,
  • Presentation and hands-on supervision.
  • Participants’ networking
  • Training feedback facilitation.

Dr. C. Onwuamah

Population Genomics, Cancer & Diagnostics

Field of Research/Specialization

I am a biomedical research scientist with interest in basic, clinical, and translational research in communicable and non-communicable diseases, within our “omics” era. I am interested in “OMICS” research to understand host-pathogen-environment inter-relationships amenable to developing sustainable health interventions.

Partial SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Training role

  • Presentation
  • Hands-on facilitation
  • Pre-Test and Post-Test facilitation
  • Training feedback facilitation

Dr. NM Otuony

Microbiology & Hematology

Field of Research/Specialization

Immunogenetics of HIV disease susceptibility in Nigeria discordant couples

Partial SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Training role

  • Presentation
  • Hands-on facilitation
  • Pre-Test and Post-Test facilitation
  • Training feedback facilitation

Dr. AB James

Molecular Biosignalling & Diagnostics

Field of Research/Specialization

Molecular virology of hemorrhagic viruses, oncology, drug discovery, and apoptosis studies

Partial SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Training role

  • Presentation
  • Hands-on facilitation
  • Pre-Test and Post-Test facilitation

Dr. M. Fowora

Biochemistry/MolecularBiology/ Biotechnology

Field of Research/Specialization

Molecular Diagnostics and molecular epidemiology of bacterial, fungal and viral pathogens.

Partial SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Training role

  • Presentation
  • Hands-on facilitation
  • Pre-Test and Post-Test facilitation
  • Training feedback facilitation

Dr. O. Ajibaye

Biochemistry/Molecular Parasitology/Immunogenomics

Field of Research/Specialization

Immunogenomics of Infectious Diseases of the Tropics, Drug Resistance studies, immune evasion, disease virulence and Host-pathogen relationship Investigation

Partial SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Training role

  • Presentation
  • Hands-on facilitation
  • Pre-Test and Post-Test facilitation

Dr. AP Okwuraiwe

Biochemistry/Molecular Diagnostics/Virology

Field of Research/Specialization

Molecular diagnosis of Infectious diseases, viral drug resistance, epigenomics.

Partial SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Training role

  • Presentation
  • Hands-on facilitation
  • Pre-Test and Post-Test facilitation

Recent COVID-19 publications by members CRL Technical team

  1. Olalekan A, Iwalokun BA, Akinloye OM, et al (2020). COVID-19 rapid diagnostic test could contain transmission in low- and middle-income countries. Afr J Lab Med. 9(1), a1255
  2. Olalekan A, Iwalokun BA, Akinloye OM, et al (2020). Understanding the Use of Real Time Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) For Covid-19 Diagnosis. Pan African journal of Life Sciences. 4 : 86-97
  3. Shaibu,J.O., Onwuamah,C.K., James,A.B., Okwuraiwe,A.P., Amoo,O.S., Salu,O.B., Ige,F.A. Okoli,L.C., Ahmed,R.A., Sokei,J., Oyefolu,A.O., Omilabu,S.A., Salako,B.L. and Audu,R.A Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 isolate SARS-CoV-/human/NGA/NG57752/2020, complete genome 29,760 bp linear RNA. Accession: MT576584.1
  4. Salako,B.L., Audu,R.A., Sunday,O.A., Okwuraiwe,A., Amao,O.; Shaibu,J.O.,Onwuamah,C., James,A., Ajibaye,O., Iwalokun,B., Salu,O., Orenolu,R., Anyanwu,R.,Obaleye,O., Ige,F., Faleye,T.,Abiodun,M., Oni,G. and Olohungbebe,M. Partial Genomic Sequence and Phylogenetic Analysis of SARS-COV-2. Isolated from an Index Case of Coronavirus Disease 2020 in Nigeria. 483 bp linear RNA. Accession MT159778
  5. Amoo, O; Ohihoin, AG; Musa, AZ et al (2020). Implementation of a modified drive-through sampling strategy for SARS-CoV-2-the Nigerian experience. Pan African Medical journal. DOI: 10.11604/pamj.supp.2020.35.2.24319
  6. Olufemi Samuel Amoo, Olugbenga Olanrewaju Aina, Azuka Patrick Okwuraiwe, Chika Kingsley Onwuamah, Joseph Ojonugwa Shaibu, Fehintola Ige, Kelly Owaneze, Hammed Olanrewaju Agboola, Dorcas Njeri Kareithi, Tochukwu Ifeanyi Onuigbo, Amaka Stephanie Ikemefuna, Joy Isioma Oraegbu, Ebenezer Olusoji Odewale, Leona Chika Okoli, Olusola Ajibaye, et al., (2020). COVID-19 Spread Patterns Is Unrelated to Malaria Co-Infections in Lagos, Nigeria. Advances in Infectious Diseases. 10:5. DOI 10.4236/aid.2020.105018
  7. Onwuamah CK, Okwuraiwe A, Ahmed RA, Sokei JO, Ponmak J, Okoli LC, Kagurusi BA, Anejo-Okopi J. Laboratory optimization tweaks for Sanger sequencing in a resource-limited setting. J Biomol Tech 2020 Oct 16; jbt.20-3104-006. doi: 10.7171/jbt.20-3104-006. 
  8. Otuonye NM, Olumade TJ, Ojetunde MM, Holdbrooke SA, Ayoola JB1, Itse Yusuf Nyam Iwalokun B, Onwuamah C , Uwandu M et al (2020). Clinical and Demographic Characteristics of COVID-19 Patients in Lagos, Nigeria: A Descriptive Study. MedRxiv preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.15.20195412.2

  9. Emelda Chukwu E, Nkiruka Odunukwe, Babatunde Salako, Ngozi Otunoye et al (2020). Determinants of Antimicrobial Use for COVID- 19 Related Symptoms Among Nigerians https://www.editorialmanager.com/heliyon/.

CRL TRAINING SECRETARIAT

Miss. Joy Ayoola

Field of Research/Specialization

Microbiology & Public Health
STI aetiology & Intervention Studies.

Partial SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Training role

  • Training materials
  • Distribution & Logistics

Mr. Nyang Yussuf

Field of Research/Specialization

Microbiology & Public Health

Molecular diagnostics development

Partial SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Training role

  • Training materials
  • Distribution & Logistics