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Professor Martin Antonio

PhD FRCP FRCPath

Professor
of Molecular Microbiology & Global Health, Director WHO Collaborating Centre for New Vaccines Surveillance

LSHTM
Keppel Street
London
WC1E 7HT
United Kingdom

Tel.
002204496074

I am based mainly in The Gambia at the MRC Unit The Gambia @ LSHTM, where I am MRC Principal Investigator and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for New Vaccines Surveillance. I am a member of the MRC Unit The Gambia @ LSHTM Senior Strategic Leadership Board and Chairs the Unit’s West Africa Strategy and partnership. In this role, I represent the Unit at most regional meetings in Africa including the West Africa Global Health Alliance, ECOWAS, AU's Africa CDC, WHO AFRO and West Africa Health Organisation.

I obtained my PhD from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London in 1997. I am a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologist (UK) by published works and Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London, UK). I am also Honorary Professor at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK and previously an Honorary Professor at LSHTM until the MRC Unit The Gambia was transferred to LSHTM in Feb 2018.

I serve on numerous Scientific Advisory Boards & Committees including Board member of the West Africa Global Health Alliance (WAGHA), member of The Gambia Government/MRC Joint Ethics Committee (and acted as Scientific advisor on the ethics committee), member of the MRC Unit The Gambia Scientific Coordinating Committee, Co-Chair of The Gambia Government MDR-TB National Committee, member of the International Human Microbiome Consortium, member of WHO technical working group for Invasive Bacterial Vaccine Preventable Disease (IB-VPD) Surveillance Network (Geneva), Expert Panel Member on Antimicrobial Resistance, Department of Health, UK, Special Advisor to WHO on Meningitis Outbreaks in Africa,  a member of Board of Trustees SOS Children's Villages The Gambia. Additionally, served as Expert Panel Member on diarrheal diseases, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

Previously served as a member of European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) Developing Countries Coordinating Committee (TB expert for West Africa Region), member of International Scientific Advisory Board, University of Cape Town Clinical Infectious Diseases Research initiative (CIDRI). Published more than 175 peer-reviewed scientific publications and supervised nine PhD students in UK universities.

Affiliations

Department of Infection Biology
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Professional Support Services

Centres

Tuberculosis (TB) Centre
Vaccine Centre
Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre
Antimicrobial Resistance Centre
Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health

Teaching

I am the Research Degrees Coordinator at the MRC Unit The Gambia @ LSHTM and I chair the Higher Degrees Committee. 

Developed (lab component) three-week free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on Disease Outbreak.

I contribute to the MSc Distance Learning courses in Medical Microbiology, Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases and Control of Infectious Disease.

I have also hosted MSc summer research project students from LSHTM in The Gambia.

I teach on the Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Course on Molecular Approaches to Clinical Microbiology in Africa. 

I have supervised nine UK PhD students and examined several PhD thesis in UK and South Africa Universities.

Research

My research is focused on the leverage of innovative molecular technologies in diagnosis of tropical diseases (mainly tuberculosis, meningitis, pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases), investigation of meningitis outbreaks and transmission, antimicrobial resistance and clinical trials. I lead a number of large-scale international research projects, including serving as the WHO Reference Laboratory for Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD) and establishing large IPD surveillance platforms across twelve countries in West and Central Africa for measuring pneumococcal conjugate vaccine impact.

Additional, the WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for New Vaccines Surveillance provides technical support to countries in the African Region to improve on surveillance of Invasive Bacterial Diseases (IBD). A key objective of the centre is to support WHO sentinel sites to (1) Quantify the burden of invasive bacterial disease to inform policy makers on new vaccine introduction (2) Measure disease burden and vaccine impact (3) Quantify the burden of antimicrobial resistance and its potential on vaccine impact to reduce antimicrobial resistance. The centre also promotes national and regional networking and conduct training courses, workshops and seminars on vaccine preventable diseases in Africa. This is achieved through strong collaboration and capacity building with Ministries of Health in Africa.

The centre also provides expertise and technical assistance during meningitis outbreaks in sub-Saharan Africa. Most notably, I led the WHO rapid support team for meningitis outbreak in Ghana (2016) and Nigeria (2017) where I supported the Ghanaian and Nigerian governments and public health officers to identify the causative outbreak agents.

Furthermore, my research applies molecular tools to understand the impact of air pollution on the nasopharyngeal microbiome and epidemic meningitis in Africa.

Research Area
Bacteria
Child health
Climate change
Surveillance
Vaccines
Global Health
Outbreaks
Discipline
Genetic epidemiology
Genomics
Molecular epidemiology
Bacteriology
Microbiology
Molecular biology
Bioinformatics
Vaccinology
Disease and Health Conditions
Diarrhoeal diseases
Infectious disease
Meningitis
Emerging Infectious Disease
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Respiratory disease
Country
Benin
Burkina Faso
Central African Republic
Cote d'Ivoire
Cameroon
Congo, Rep.
United Kingdom
Ghana
Guinea
Gambia, The
Guinea-Bissau
India
Kenya
Liberia
Mali
Mozambique
Malawi
Niger
Nigeria
Sudan
Senegal
Sierra Leone
South Sudan
Togo
South Africa
Zimbabwe
Region
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

Causes of severe pneumonia requiring hospital admission in children without HIV infection from Africa and Asia: the PERCH multi-country case-control study
Antonio M; O’Brien, KL; Scott JAG; The Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) Study G
2019
The Lancet
Pneumococcal lineages associated with serotype replacement and antibiotic resistance in childhood invasive pneumococcal disease in the post-PCV13 era: an international whole-genome sequencing study
Lo SW; Gladstone RA; van Tonder AJ; Lees JA; du Plessis M; Benisty R; Givon-Lavi N; Hawkins PA; Cornick JE; Kwambana-Adams B
2019
The Lancet Infectious Diseases
Putative novel cps loci in a large global collection of pneumococci
van Tonder AJ; Gladstone RA; Lo SW; Nahm MH; du Plessis M; Cornick J; Kwambana-Adams B; Madhi SA; Hawkins PA; Benisty R
2019
Microbial Genomics
International genomic definition of pneumococcal lineages, to contextualise disease, antibiotic resistance and vaccine impact.
Gladstone RA; Lo SW; Lees JA; Croucher NJ; van Tonder AJ; Corander J; Page AJ; Marttinen P; Bentley LJ; Ochoa TJ
2019
EBioMedicine
Colonization factors among enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli isolates from children with moderate-to-severe diarrhea and from matched controls in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS)
Vidal RM; Muhsen K; Tennant SM; Svennerholm A-M; Sow SO; Sur D; Zaidi AKM; Faruque ASG; Saha D; Adegbola R
2019
PLOS NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES
Second-line anti-tuberculosis drug resistance testing in Ghana identifies the first extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis case
Osei-Wusu S; Amo Omari M; Asante-Poku A; Darko Otchere I; Asare P; Forson A; Otu J; Antonio M; Yeboah-Manu D
2018
Infection and Drug Resistance
Comparative genomics of Mycobacterium africanum Lineage 5 and Lineage 6 from Ghana suggests distinct ecological niches
Otchere ID; Coscollá M; Sánchez-Busó L; Asante-Poku A; Brites D; Loiseau C; Meehan C; Osei-Wusu S; Forson A; Laryea C
2018
Scientific Reports
Meningococcus serogroup C clonal complex ST-10217 outbreak in Zamfara State, Northern Nigeria.
Kwambana-Adams BA; Amaza RC; Okoi C; Rabiu M; Worwui A; Foster-Nyarko E; Ebruke B; Sesay AK; Senghore M; Umar AS
2018
Scientific reports
Isolation of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Multidrug-resistant Elizabethkingia meningoseptica From Neonates Within Minutes of Birth.
Kwambana-Adams BA; Laxton CS; Foster-Nyarko E; Laxton CS; Weinstock G; Antonio M
2017
The Pediatric infectious disease journal
Comparative genomic analysis and in vivo modelling of Streptococcus pneumoniae ST3081 and ST618 isolates reveal key genetic and phenotypic differences contributing to clonal replacement of serotype 1 in The Gambia.
Bricio-Moreno L; Ebruke C; Chaguza C; Cornick J; Kwambana-Adams B; Yang M; Mackenzie G; Wren BW; Everett D; Antonio M
2017
The Journal of infectious diseases
Whole-genome sequencing illuminates the evolution and spread of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Southwest Nigeria.
Senghore M; Otu J; Witney A; Gehre F; Doughty EL; Kay GL; Butcher P; Salako K; Kehinde A; Onyejepu N
2017
PloS one
Large Outbreak of Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup C - Nigeria, December 2016-June 2017.
Nnadi C; Oladejo J; Yennan S; Ogunleye A; Agbai C; Bakare L; Abdulaziz M; Mohammed A; Stephens M; Sumaili K
2017
MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report
Identification of Subsets of Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli Associated with Diarrheal Disease among Under 5-Year-Old Children from Rural Gambia.
Ikumapayi UN; Boisen N; Hossain MJ; Betts M; Lamin M; Saha D; Kwambana-Adams B; Dione M; Adegbola RA; Roca A
2017
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Rapid replacement by non-vaccine pneumococcal serotypes may mitigate the impact of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on nasopharyngeal bacterial ecology.
Kwambana-Adams B; Hanson B; Worwui A; Agbla S; Foster-Nyarko E; Ceesay F; Ebruke C; Egere U; Zhou Y; Ndukum M
2017
Scientific reports
Ancient hybridization and strong adaptation to viruses across African vervet monkey populations.
Svardal H; Jasinska AJ; Apetrei C; Coppola G; Huang Y; Schmitt CA; Jacquelin B; Ramensky V; Müller-Trutwin M; Antonio M
2017
Nature genetics
The global distribution and diversity of protein vaccine candidate antigens in the highly virulent Streptococcus pnuemoniae serotype 1
Cornick JE; Bishop OT; Yalcin F; Kiran AM; Kumwenda B; Chaguza C; Govindpershad S; Ousmane S; Senghore M; du Plessis M
2017
Vaccine
Impact of the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination on pneumonia in The Gambia: population-based surveillance and case-control studies.
Mackenzie GA; Hill PC; Sahito SM; Jeffries DJ; Hossain I; Bottomley C; Uchendu U; Ameh D; Ndiaye M; Osuorah CD
2017
The Lancet infectious diseases
Incidence of macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance amongst beta-haemolytic streptococci in The Gambia.
Foster-Nyarko E; Kwambana B; Ceesay F; Jawneh K; Darboe S; Mulwa SN; Ceesay B; Secka OO; Adetifa I; Antonio M
2017
BMC research notes
Transmission of Staphylococcus aureus from Humans to Green Monkeys in The Gambia as Revealed by Whole-Genome Sequencing.
Senghore M; Bayliss SC; Kwambana-Adams BA; Foster-Nyarko E; Manneh J; Dione M; Badji H; Ebruke C; Doughty EL; Thorpe HA
2016
Applied and environmental microbiology
Evolution of atypical enteropathogenic E. coli by repeated acquisition of LEE pathogenicity island variants.
Ingle DJ; Tauschek M; Edwards DJ; Hocking DM; Pickard DJ; Azzopardi KI; Amarasena T; Bennett-Wood V; Pearson JS; Tamboura B
2016
Nature microbiology
Use of quantitative molecular diagnostic methods to identify causes of diarrhoea in children: a reanalysis of the GEMS case-control study
Liu J; Platts-Mills JA; Juma J; Kabir F; Nkeze J; Okoi C; Operario DJ; Uddin J; Ahmed S; Alonso PL
2016
LANCET
The emerging threat of pre-extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in West Africa: preparing for large-scale tuberculosis research and drug resistance surveillance.
Gehre F; Otu J; Kendall L; Forson A; Kwara A; Kudzawu S; Kehinde AO; Adebiyi O; Salako K; Baldeh I
2016
BMC medicine
Effect of the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination on invasive pneumococcal disease in The Gambia: a population-based surveillance study.
Mackenzie GA; Hill PC; Jeffries DJ; Hossain I; Uchendu U; Ameh D; Ndiaye M; Adeyemi O; Pathirana J; Olatunji Y
2016
The Lancet infectious diseases
Reactogenicity, safety and immunogenicity of a protein-based pneumococcal vaccine in Gambian children aged 2-4 years: a phase II randomized study.
Odutola A; Ota MO; Ogundare EO; Antonio M; Owiafe P; Worwui A; Greenwood B; Alderson M; Traskine M; Verlant V
2016
Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics
Genomic diversity of EPEC associated with clinical presentations of differing severity.
Hazen TH; Donnenberg MS; Panchalingam S; Antonio M; Hossain A; Mandomando I; Ochieng JB; Ramamurthy T; Tamboura B; Qureshi S
2016
Nature microbiology
A tuberculosis nationwide prevalence survey in Gambia, 2012.
Adetifa IM; Kendall L; Bashorun A; Linda C; Omoleke S; Jeffries D; Maane R; Alorse BD; Alorse WD; Okoi CB
2016
Bulletin of the World Health Organization
An outbreak of pneumococcal meningitis among older children (≥5 years) and adults after the implementation of an infant vaccination programme with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in Ghana.
Kwambana-Adams BA; Asiedu-Bekoe F; Sarkodie B; Afreh OK; Kuma GK; Owusu-Okyere G; Foster-Nyarko E; Ohene SA; Okot C; Worwui AK
2016
BMC infectious diseases
The genome of the vervet (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus).
Warren WC; Jasinska AJ; García-Pérez R; Svardal H; Tomlinson C; Rocchi M; Archidiacono N; Capozzi O; Minx P; Montague MJ
2015
Genome research
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