The Bacteriology Department, NMIMR since the year 2013 has been actively involved in yaws research activities through collaborative research with the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC, Atlanta), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ghana National Yaws Eradication Program mainly on Yaws PCR diagnosis and PCR assays for the detection of resistance to Azithromycin.
The Department has participated in two WHO Yaws project: 1) a pilot study on community-based mass treatment with azithromycin in Abamkrom sub-district, West Akyem district in the Eastern region and 2), a clinical trial comparing the efficacy of a single dose of treatment of yaws with 20 mg/kg versus 30 mg/kg of azithromycin. During these studies, the Department team successfully isolated Haemophilus ducreyi strains, the causative agent of yaws-like lesions among children in many countries.
The Department has been involved in building capacity of district laboratory teams and health workers in the use of rapid syphilis tests (SD Bioline 3.0 and DPP Chembio) in the diagnosis of yaws, recruitment of participants, sample collection, sample sorting and storage, and transport to NMIMR.
Currently, the yaws team at the Department is providing technical and diagnostic support to 11 districts involved in a Skin-NTDs project with the Ghana Health Service, supported by a Spanish NGO, Anesvad Foundation. The team is also involved in the Clinical evaluation of a Loop-mediated isothermal amplification test for Treponema pallidum pertenue: A Diagnostic tool to support Yaws Eradication (RIA2018D-2495) funded by European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership. The TPHD-LAMP assay can detect both T. pallidum and H. ducreyi and allows instantaneous differential diagnosis of T. pallidum and H. ducreyi co-infections. The main objective of the research is to assess the accuracy of the TPHD-LAMP for T. pallidum and H. ducreyi diagnosis under programmatic conditions in endemic areas in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon. The performance of TPHD-LAMP is being assessed by comparison with qPCR results obtained in the national reference laboratory in each country.
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