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Biomarkers of systemic and placental dysfunction in preeclampsia

Biomarkers of systemic and placental dysfunction in preeclampsia

Project Lead(s)
Dorothea Obiri
Research Fellow
Project Background 

Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy specific disorder affecting ~5.3% of sub-Saharan African women and significantly increases the risk of morbidity and mortality to both mother and the new born. The underlying cause is largely due to abnormal placental development, leading to placental stress affecting the maternal and fetal compartments. The condition has no ‘cure’; symptoms are largely managed until delivery. Clinical symptoms of preeclampsia are detected on or after 20 weeks of gestation. The multifactorial etiology associated with the disorder makes it difficult to prevent, diagnose or treat. This makes identification of biological target significant particularly for sub-Saharan Africa where the condition is rising against the high burden of infectious diseases and other non-communicable conditions. Identification of biomarkers could provide pathophysiologic insights ultimately providing a pathway for the development of preventive tools and new diagnostics and therapeutics with the potential of minimizing adverse maternal and fetal outcomes.

Objectives/Research Areas 
  1. Identifying the outcome of preeclampsia in women with placental malaria 
  2. Identifying biomarkers in preeclampsia in women with SCD 
Key Findings 

Plasmodium infections in the placenta increases the risk or exacerbates the condition of preeclampsia 

Ongoing Activities  
  • Analyzing data for manuscripts
  • Carrying out experiments for other objectives 
Internal Collaborator(s) 
Prof. Ben Gyan
Prof. Michael Ofori
Prof. Samuel Oppong
Dr. Asamoah Kusi
Dr. John Tetteh
Dr. Kwame Adu-Bonsaffoh
Dr. Samuel Joe Erskine
External Collaborator(s) 
Dr. Linnie Golightly, Weill Cornell Medicine, USA
Dr. Andrew Sharkey, University of Cambridge, UK
Dr. Irving Aye, University of Cambridge, UK
World Bank Africa Centers of Excellence
Fogarty International Center, USA
Cambridge Africa ALBORADA Research Fund, UK
Africa Research Excellence Fund, UK