Making the Invisible Visible: Arbovirus transmission, risk, disease and prevention in Kenya

Dr Desiree LaBeaud will speak on 'Making the Invisible Visible: Arbovirus transmission, risk, disease and prevention in Kenya '.

Dr Desiree LaBeaud is an Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Stanford University.  Her formal education included a bachelor’s degree in Biology (University of California at San Diego, 1996, Cum Laude), medical degree (Medical College of Wisconsin, 2000, AOA), paediatric residency-International Health track (Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, CWRU, 2003), fellowship in paediatric infectious diseases (Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, CWRU, 2006), and master’s degree in Clinical Research with a focus in epidemiology (CWRU, 2009).  Since the early 2000s, Dr LaBeaud has devoted her efforts to better understand the risk factors and long-term health consequences of arboviral infections, including Rift Valley fever, chikungunya, and dengue viruses.  Currently, Dr LaBeaud is leading two large ongoing field projects in Kenya.   As a physician-scientist, she splits her time between research and clinical practice, including travel clinic experience.

The presence of arboviral disease has long been under-recognized and underreported in sub-Saharan Africa.  The lack of systematic surveillance and accurate diagnostics, coupled with low levels of clinical confirmation, all lead to under-diagnosis in the African setting. Misdiagnosis as malaria is most common, resulting in potential toxicity from unneeded medication and possible emergence of malarial resistance without true etiological recognition of arboviral disease and its health burden.  Several factors contribute to the transmission of arboviruses in this setting, including vector, host, and environmental dynamics.  In this lecture, Dr. LaBeaud will discuss her research that takes an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to the complex problem of arboviral transmission in Kenya.  In order to understand the burden of exposure and resultant disease, and the continuum of risk created by climate, vector abundance, and human infection, both active and passive human surveillance, linked to vector and weather data, were studied.  She will discuss her human and vector work to document the prevalence of these important threats and discuss a new study that empowers children and households to practice larval source reduction to prevent exposure.


Free and open to all. Entrance is on a first come, first serve basis