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Our overall aim is to characterize disease mechanisms for congenital viral infections, i.e. the viral infections that are transmitted from the mother to the fetus and can cause miscarriages or malformations. Specifically, we want to determine how the Rift Valley fever virus infects the placenta and what effect the infection has on our immune system. Generally, there is no knowledge of disease mechanisms for infections of the fetus during pregnancy. Our research will provide new information on these mechanisms by using the Rift Valley fever virus as a model and this will contribute to the general understanding of fetal infections for other viruses.
We want to develop antivirals that are active against Rift Valley fever virus, a mosquito-borne virus disease that causes serious illness in both humans and animals. There are no specific drugs or vaccines against Rift Valley fever virus infection. Outbreaks occur regularly in Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula and cause in humans everything from mild flu-like illness to more severe forms such as hemorrhagic fever, kidney failure, or brain inflammation and in some cases up to 30% mortality has been noted in outbreaks. In addition, the infection causes abortion storms in cattle and fatal epidemics in young animals, with serious consequences for the local and national economy. Rift Valley fever virus have the ability to spread globally and is also recognized as a bioterrorist threat.
O'nyong-Nyong virus (ONNV) is a mosquito-borne virus with potential for global spread. It has caused major outbreaks during the 20th century, but these outbreaks have so far taken place in developing countries. So far, the diagnosis of ONNV is not specific, so patients are misdiagnosed and the correct distribution and impact on health care is unknown. There is no vaccine or specific therapy for the treatment of ONNV. We believe that our project will play a central role in understanding how ONNV is transmitted to humans and which reservoir, and mosquito vector the virus has in nature.
This research project aims to study the quality of the process in referral laboratories towards quality of healthcare in referral hospitals in Rwanda. It is known that developed countries base on laboratory results or any diagnostic process for health care provision but it is not always the case for developing countries where resources are limited especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Some studies have been conducted on laboratory quality improvement, safety and accreditation of laboratoriesbut a need on how clinical laboratories are contributing to the quality of patient healthcare is still needed especially in sub-Saharan Africa as laboratory data are estimated to affect 60-70% of decision on admission, medication and discharge of the patient. The knowledge from this study will be translated into recommendations and will contribute to improvement of the quality of healthcare in concerned hospitals in Rwanda in particular and in other countries with similar context in general.