€500K grant to tackle Ebola threat in Uganda
Global scientists have been awarded a €500,000 grant to tackle the imminent threat of Ebola in Uganda.
Last month, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reported its 10th Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu province, which borders Uganda.
A total of 223 confirmed and probable cases, including 144 deaths, had been reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) by 18 October. New cases, deaths and suspected cases are being reported daily.
Preparing for an outbreak in Uganda has become a priority, as an esteemed 8,000-10,000 people cross between the countries on market days.
Researchers from the CAPA CT 2 Consortium brings together researchers from the University of Liverpool, Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Uganda and the University of Turin in Italy.
The consortium will explore the pharmacokinetics of remdesivir - an anti-viral drug - in healthy volunteers, and then in patients needing treatment in the event of an outbreak. The research will also guide the best use of the drug in clinical practice, where individual patient factors and impact of disease may affect drug concentrations.
Disease surveillance will also be carried out to determine the effectiveness of control and preventative health measures.
Dr Peter Waitt, based at the Infectious Diseases Institute at Makerere University, said: “The research being conducted by the consortium aims to improve knowledge of the mechanism of action of a prioritised drug by generating local clinical pharmacokinetic data that is needed for accurate interpretation of sparse data from patients requiring the drug.
“Furthermore, in a setting of high HIV prevalence, we will explore drug interactions with antiretroviral drugs and to inform future treatment optimisation approaches. The results will provide the strong, evidence-based recommendation on dosing for human use, and may identify special populations in whom different dosing strategies should be considered.”