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SARS-CoV-2 infection & reinfection amongst hospital workers in the Philippines through surveillance and genomic epidemiology - NU/LSHTM project

Title of PhD project / theme

SARS-CoV-2 infection & reinfection amongst hospital workers in the Philippines through surveillance and genomic epidemiology

Supervisory team

LSHTM:

Martin Hibberd (lead) Martin.Hibberd@lshtm.ac.uk

Stephane Hue Stephane.Hue@lshtm.ac.uk

Damien Tulley Damien.Tully@lshtm.ac.uk

Nagasaki:

Chris Smith Christopher.Smith@lshtm.ac.uk

Koya Ariyoshi kari@nagasaki-u.ac.jp

Brief description of project / theme

SARS-CoV-2 infection among hospital workers is a major concern in the Philippines. The prevalence of infection among hospital workers, in particular the extent of asymptomatic infection and reinfection, and transmission dynamics is not known. The key scientific question of this research is: What is the extent of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection among hospital workers in Manila, the Philippines?

This project will link use data from a prospective longitudinal cohort study of hospital workers to estimate active infection (by PCR) and seroconversion (IgG). SARS-CoV-2 positive samples will be sequenced and genetic diversity and transmission dynamics will be investigate to evaluate the extent of hospital worker reinfection.

Established research collaborations exist between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University and San Lazaro Hospital (SLH). This project will draw on our established acute respiratory tract (ARI)/COVID-19 and fever studies.

(1) Edrada E … Smith C, Sayo A ...Villanueva A, Ariyoshi K, Solante R. First COVID-19 infections in the Philippines: A case report. Trop Med Health. 2020 Apr 14;48(1).

(2) Salva E... Sayo A, Villanueva A. Edwards T …Ariyoshi K, Smith C. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients with suspected COVID-19 admitted in Metro Manila, Philippines. Trop Med Health. 2020;48(1).

(3) Villanueva A, Lazaro J, Sayo A … Suzuki S, Solante R, Ariyoshi K,  Smith C. COVID-19 Screening for Healthcare Workers in a Tertiary Infectious Diseases Referral Hospital in Manila, the Philippines. AJTMH. 2020

The role of LSHTM and NU in this collaborative project

NU: support for fieldwork in the Philippines including sequencing, clinical tropical medicine

LSHTM: support phylogenetic analyses and molecular epidemiology aspects

Particular prior educational requirements for a student undertaking this project

Masters degree in related field

Skills we expect a student to develop/acquire whilst pursuing this project

Sequencing and training in viral phylogenetic analyses and molecular epidemiology