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African Partner Sites

Principal investigator: Rainer Sauerborn, Thomas Junghanns

Scientific Coordinator: Aurélia Souares

Funding: German Centre for Infection Research

Partners: Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, Ghana
Albert Schweitzer Hospital, Lambaréné, Gabon
Centre de Recherche en Santé de Nouna, Burkina Faso
NIMR - Mbeya Medical Research Center, Tanzania
Institute of Tropical Medicine in Tübingen, Germany
Tropeninstitut München, Germany
Bernhard-Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany

Project description:
This infrastructure shall establish and strengthen a sustainable North-South collaboration with African institutions of infectious disease research. Long-lasting collaborations between some of these centres and DZIF partners already exist. Yet, most of these sites run on a project basis, leaving few resources for sustainable investments. Working together with these partner sites is crucial since most of the diseases endemic to these sites are also an issue in developed countries, albeit at much lower frequencies.

DZIF intends to reinforce the networking between the existing collaborations. This core network is formed by four of the African partner sites that are directly involved in the Thematic Translational Units Malaria and Tuberculosis. The goal is to improve and harmonize the link between DZIF partner sites and selected African research sites, and to facilitate access to well-characterized clinical samples of specific interest.

The first step will be to embark upon an analysis of the population-based burden of infectious diseases and their spatial and temporal patterns and trends. Concurrently, a collection of samples from patients with fever of unknown origin will be gathered (FUO repository). Collaborating with African scientists to analyze these samples will help to better define the pathogen spectrum in the respective areas and can be used as a quality assessment instrument for implementing advanced diagnostic techniques in Africa. Specifically, it will help identify emerging infections in areas already assumed to be the origin of many serious infections.

Contact:  Aurélia Souares (souares@uni-heidelberg.de)