Dr Emma Harding-Esch

BA(Hons) MPhil MSc PhD

Associate Professor


Keppel Street
United Kingdom

020 7612 7982

I am an epidemiologist, with a focus on neglected tropical diseases (primarily trachoma) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

I obtained both my MSc (Control of Infectious Diseases) and PhD ("Trachoma control and elimination: Field studies in The Gambia and Senegal") from LSHTM, and led the field studies for the Partnership for the Rapid Elimination of Trachoma (PRET) trial in The Gambia. I also have experience of infectious disease surveillance, having been the Senior Enhanced Surveillance Scientist for CJD at Public Health England, and then a Principal Scientist in PHE's HIV/STI department. I was Senior Trials Coordinator for the eSTI2 Consortium, led by St George's, University of London, and subsequently the Programme Manager and Epidemiology Lead for the Applied Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Unit (ADREU -, where I conducted several diagnostic evaluations to assess the performance, clinical and public health impacts of novel diagnostic technologies for STIs.

I returned to LSHTM in November 2017 as an Associate Professor and Chief Scientist for Tropical Data (, supporting national programmes to collect scientifically robust and standardised neglected tropical disease prevalence data, allowing interventions for disease elimination to be targeted and prioritised. 


Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Department of Clinical Research


Antimicrobial Resistance Centre


I am Co-Module Organiser for the Distance Learning module: Control of Infectious Diseases, and a Lead Educator for the Eliminating Trachoma MOOC (

I also lecture on trachoma and mapping, am a facilitator on the Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections module, and supervise MSc summer projects.


I am interested in supervising doctoral students working on:

- The diagnosis, epidemiology and elimination of trachoma (and other neglected tropical diseases), including for post-validation surveillance.

- The epidemiology of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), evaluation of diagnostics for STIs and their public health impact.


Research Area
Clinical care
Drug resistance
Economic evaluation
Health services research
Sexual health
Disease control
Global Health
Mixed methods
Mobile technologies
Implementation research
Health economics
Molecular epidemiology
GIS/Spatial analysis
Operational research
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
Sexually transmitted disease
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Sexually transmitted infection
Tropical diseases

Selected Publications

Impact of mass drug administration of azithromycin for trachoma elimination on prevalence and azithromycin resistance of genital Mycoplasma genitalium infection
Harrison M; Harding-Esch E; Marks M; Pond MJ; Butcher R; Solomon AW; Zhou L; Tan NK; Nori AV; Kako H
Sexually Transmitted Infections
A 30-Min Nucleic Acid Amplification Point-of-Care Test for Genital Chlamydia trachomatis Infection in Women: A Prospective, Multi-center Study of Diagnostic Accuracy
Harding-Esch EM; Cousins EC; Chow SLC; Phillips LT; Hall CL; Cooper N; Fuller SS; Nori AV; Patel R; Thomas-William S
"Test n Treat" (TnT): a cluster randomised feasibility trial of on-site rapid Chlamydia trachomatis tests and treatment in ethnically diverse, sexually active teenagers attending technical colleges
Oakeshott P; Kerry-Barnard S; Fleming C; Phillips R; Drennan VM; Adams EJ; Majewska W; Harding-Esch E; Cousins EC; Planche T
Clinical Microbiology and Infection
Diagnostic accuracy of a prototype rapid chlamydia and gonorrhoea recombinase polymerase amplification assay: a multi-centre cross-sectional pre-clinical evaluation.
Harding-Esch EM; Fuller SS; Christine Chow SL; Nori AV; Harrison MA; Parker M; Piepenburg O; Forrest MS; Brooks DG; Patel R
Clinical microbiology and infection
Population-based prevalence survey of follicular trachoma and trachomatous trichiasis in the Casamance region of Senegal.
Harding-Esch EM; Kadimpeul J; Sarr B; Sane A; Badji S; Laye M; Sillah A; Burr SE; MacLeod D; Last AR
BMC public health
The eSexual Health Clinic system for management, prevention, and control of sexually transmitted infections: exploratory studies in people testing for Chlamydia trachomatis.
Estcourt CS; Gibbs J; Sutcliffe LJ; Gkatzidou V; Tickle L; Hone K; Aicken C; Lowndes CM; Harding-Esch EM; Eaton S
The lancet Public health
Impact of deploying multiple point-of-care tests with a 'sample first' approach on a sexual health clinical care pathway. A service evaluation.
Harding-Esch EM; Nori AV; Hegazi A; Pond MJ; Okolo O; Nardone A; Lowndes CM; Hay P; Sadiq ST
Sexually transmitted infections
Costs of Testing for Ocular Chlamydia trachomatis Infection Compared to Mass Drug Administration for Trachoma in The Gambia: Application of Results from the PRET Study.
Harding-Esch E; Jofre-Bonet M; Dhanjal JK; Burr S; Edwards T; Holland M; Sillah A; West S; Lietman T; Keenan J
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Can remote STI/HIV testing and eClinical Care be compatible with robust public health surveillance?
Harding-Esch E; Nardone A; Gibbs J; Sutcliffe L; Sonnenberg P; Estcourt C; Hughes G; Mohammed H; Gill N; Sadiq ST
DH15 (2015)
Mass Treatment with Azithromycin for Trachoma: When Is One Round Enough? Results from the PRET Trial in The Gambia.
Harding-Esch EM; Sillah A; Edwards T; Burr SE; Hart JD; Joof H; Laye M; Makalo P; Manjang A; Molina S
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
A diagnostics platform for the integrated mapping, monitoring, and surveillance of neglected tropical diseases: rationale and target product profiles.
Solomon AW; Engels D; Bailey RL; Blake IM; Brooker S; Chen JX; Chen JH; Churcher TS; Drakeley CJ; Edwards T
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Diagnostic Accuracy of a Prototype Point-of-Care Test for Ocular Chlamydia trachomatis under Field Conditions in The Gambia and Senegal.
Harding-Esch EM; Holland MJ; Schémann JF; Molina S; Sarr I; Andreasen AA; Roberts CH; Sillah A; Sarr B; Harding EF
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Epidemiology and control of trachoma: systematic review.
Hu VH; Harding-Esch EM; Burton MJ; Bailey RL; Kadimpeul J; Mabey DC
Tropical medicine & international health
Trachoma Prevalence and Associated Risk Factors in The Gambia and Tanzania: Baseline Results of a Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial.
Harding-Esch EM; Edwards T; Mkocha H; Munoz B; Holland MJ; Burr SE; Sillah A; Gaydos CA; Stare D; Mabey DC
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Active trachoma and ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection in two Gambian regions: on course for elimination by 2020?
Harding-Esch EM; Edwards T; Sillah A; Sarr I; Roberts CH; Snell P; Aryee E; Molina S; Holland MJ; Mabey DC
PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Two doses of azithromycin to eliminate trachoma in a Tanzanian community.
Solomon AW; Harding-Esch E; Alexander ND; Aguirre A; Holland MJ; Bailey RL; Foster A; Mabey DC; Massae PA; Courtright P
The New England journal of medicine
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