VECTOR-BORNE DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGY AND VECTOR BIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
WELCOME TO THE Vector-borne disease EPIDEMIOLOGY AND VECTOR BIOLOGY group
Our research aims at understanding the complex vector-parasite-host interactions in order to provide innovative ways that can be exploited for disease control.
about the RESEARCH group
We are based in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology at K.N.U.S.T. Our research aims to dissect the complex vector-parasite-host interactions in order to provide evidence-based solutions towards control of various vector-borne diseases. We conduct extensive research into protozoan parasites and vectors responsible for diseases such as Malaria, Trypanosomiasis and Cutaneous Leishmaniasis. Our areas of specialization include medical entomology, molecular parasitology, vector biology and ecology, seroprevalence, diagnostic testing among many others. Read more
projects in focus
RAPiD-VBP: Responsible AI for developing a Robust public health surveillance system
Our Bold Idea
Aim of the Study
Our Bold Idea
We propose a robust public health surveillance system powered by an AI-based automated vector surveillance system, with the capacity for early detection and early warning signals of potential threats to improve public health response to outbreaks.
Aim of the Study
1. Develop bio-acoustic sensors to conduct vector monitoring at unprecedented scale and low cost, replacing the current practice of light traps and manual counting with automated solutions based on responsible AI and Edge Computing.
2. Identify novel viruses in vectors, and animal reservoirs with the potential to replicate in humans via NGS metagenomic sequencing. Thus, ensuring readiness for outbreaks.
3. Develop climate and environmentally-driven, dynamical host–vector models to predict the risk of viral outbreaks in current and future climates.
4. Monitor Health Inequalities to characterize current realities of infectious disease pandemics on women and children within vulnerable communities to recommend.
Improve identification, collection, and cataloging of relevant data required for the research projects addressing epidemic and pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response.
• Strengthen and enhance capacity and prepare the next generation of leaders in responsible AI in clinical public health policy through a unique training program in an interactive environment mentored by basic, applied, and policy researchers
• Upgrade existing methods and develop new techniques and tools for bettering clinical public health outcomes
• Devise comprehensive and complementary models to inform epidemic and pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kingsley Badu
Co-Investigator: Prof. Peter Haddawy
As international efforts towards malaria elimination increase, accurate data on transmission intensity will be crucial for directing control efforts, developing and testing new interventions, as well as predicting the effects of these interventions under various conditions. However, current tools; the entomological inoculation rate, parasite infection and serological measures have limitations in either sensitivity at low-level transmission or lack the inherent ability to track short-term changes. Again changes measured by these traditional tools reflect either parasite or vector exposure but not both. Read more
The overarching goal of the study is to validate novel malaria infectious-bite marker as a simple straightforward sero-surveillance tool to identify ‘hotspots’ and ‘hotpops’ for targeted interventions to yield maximum community-wide benefits.
This will be three -time point longitudinal community based survey at quarterly intervals cutting across both dry and rainy season. Serological, parasitological and entomological as well as demographic data will be collected at household level. The study will not discriminate participants in terms of age or gender but a representation of all age groups except infants of less than 6months where maternal antibodies drive immune response rather than exposure will be excluded. Blood samples from finger prick will be taken from an average of 4 people per household from 100 households per community. Read more
Call: Career Development Fellowship (CDF)
Start Date: 2018-07-01
End Date: 2021-06-30
Project Code: TMA2016CDF1605
EDCTP Alumni Network: Visit site
This project is sponsored by EDCTP grant code TMA2016CDF1605
Dr. Nehkonti Adams visits VBID-RG
Dr. Adams is an Infectious Disease Specialist and M.D. for the US Navy. Dr. Adams paid a visit to the Vector-Borne Infectious Disease Research Group to discuss emerging infectious diseases in the field of Tropical Medicine and the impact of COVID-19 on resource allocation. The VBID-RG team also had the opportunity to present our current research to the Navy Officer.
Austine attends AIBBC conference
The VBID-RG team is extremely proud of Mr. Austine Tweneboah, a Research Assistant of the group, who was selected to make oral presentation of his research during the 5th Africa International Biotechnology and Biomedical Conference (AIBBC) which took place between 8th-13th November, 2021 in Kisimu, Kenya. Mr. Tweneboah presented on the distribution and incidence of African Animal Trypanosomiasis (AAT) in Ghana.
CL Information Dissemination Workshop
This programme was held virtually to sensitize the public about the current state of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, a neglected tropical disease in Ghana. The webinar also served as a means to communicate research findings by the Vector-Borne Infectious Disease Research Group to the public. Experts in the field were invited to speak and participants were encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback. Click here to read the final report and click here to view the gallery.
LAMP Assay Workshop 2019
This 3-day training was held under the collaboration between Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology (TAB-KNUST) and the German Research Foundation (DFG). Participants obtained theoretical knowledge and practical training on molecular techniques such as Polymerase Chain Reaction and Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification of DNA. Click here to read the report and here to view the images.
Launch of the West Africa Malaria Surveillance Group
The inaugural meeting of the West Africa Malaria Surveillance Group was hosted at KNUST by the Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases Lab. The Group aims to conduct routine surveillance of hrp2/hrp3 gene deletions in Plasmodium falciparum isolates in West Africa. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Cristian Koepfli (University of Notre Dame, USA). In attendance were malaria experts from the diaspora including Dr. Ousmane Traore (Burkina Faso), Dr. Christele Tchopba (Togo) and Prof. Luc Djogbenu (Benin).
SARS-CoV-2 Serology Assay Workshop 2022
In collaboration with University of Bremen and KNUST Central Laboratory, VBID-RG conducted a one-week hands on ELISA workshop for a cohort of eighteen (18) graduate students at KNUST between 25-29th July, 2022. The workshop comprised morning lectures and afternoon practicals facilitated by Prof. Soerge Kelm (Uni. of Bremen). Participants were given the opportunity to present their results and awarded certificates of attendance. Click to read the final report.
Dr. Nehkonti Adams visit VBID-RG
Austine attends AIBBC conference
CL dissemination workshop
LAMP Assay Workshop
West Africa Malaria Surveillance Group
SARS-CoV-2 Serology Workshop
Cutaneous Leishmaniasis transmission in Ghana: Information dissemination workshop
Date: 19th May, 2021
Kingsley Badu holds a Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences, a Masters in Clinical Microbiology and a PhD in Biological Sciences. He also holds other certificates in Cell Biology and Molecular Parasitology. He has extensive experience investigating transmission of vector-Borne Infectious Diseases such as malaria, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis and lately leishmaniasis...Read more
Kingsley Badu (BSc., MPhil, PhD)
Principal Investigator, VBID-RG
Dr. Kingsley Badu is a Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. He holds a MPhil degree in Clinical Microbiology and a P.hD. in Biological Sciences from TAB-KNUST.
Ophelia Asare Bediako