African research on brucellosis: Afrique One-ASPIRE engages in research to find appropriate intervention strategies

2 August 2017

Brucellosis is a bacterial infection that systemically affects a wide variety of mammals worldwide. It is endemic in Africa and one of the leading zoonoses affecting humans. Various studies conducted in both, East and West Africa have concentrated on the burden of the disease and the transmission and distribution of several Brucella agents across populations in various ecosystems. However, appropriate and successful intervention strategies are yet to be implemented.

The bold aim of the Brucellosis Control and Prevention Thematic Training Program (TTP) is not only to assess at varying scales the burden, brucella species distribution and zoonotic transmission routes but also to develop diagnostic tools and intervention approaches appropriate to the African context.

To achieve this goal, 9 fellows (2 postdocs, 4 PhD students and 3 Master students) have been recruited. All the fellows gathered from the 26th to 27th July 2017 in Arusha for the kick-off meeting of the TTP brucellosis. The meeting was chaired by Prof Rudovick Kazwala, TTP leader and Dr. Gilbert Fokou, TTP co-leader. Members of the Afrique One-ASPIRE program coordination team were also present, namely: Dr Kathrin Tokpa, Programme manager, Dr Katharina Kreppel, Training coordinator and Mr. Ibrahim Doukouré, Financial officer.

The objectives of the TTP Brucellosis kick off meeting were (i) to establish the initial contact between all TTP-Brucellosis fellows and the coordination team, (ii) to present the Afrique One-ASPIRE consortium and the TTP-Brucellosis aims and (iii) to enable the fellows to present, review and improve their research protocols.         

Before the presentations of research proposals by the fellows, Prof Kazwala provided a welcome address and introduced the Afrique One-ASPIRE Consortium. Dr Tokpa and Mr. Doukouré presented the rules of management within the consortium (i.e. finance, communication, monitoring and evaluation) and Dr Kreppel outlined the different training opportunities available.

Fellows have been invited to improve their protocols before submission for the coming summer school in September 2017.

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