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Call Senior Fellowship (SF)
Programme EDCTP1
Start Date 2005-01-01
End Date 2008-09-28
Project Code TA.2004.40200.001
Status Completed


Development and evaluation of high throughput, cheap and reliable assays for monitoring HIV-1 and HIV-2 viral loads in ARV programmes and clinical trials in developing countries


To develop robust and affordable in-house virus load assays for quantifying HIV-1 and HIV-2 RNA in the blood of an infected individual; with similar sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility to currently available commercial HIV viral load assays. A secondary objective is to train scientists in the West Africa sub-region to encourage a wider use of the assay

Host Organisation

Institution Country
Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratories Gambia


Name Institution Country
Steve Kaye Gambia
Samuel McConkey Gambia

Study Design

Laboratory assay development and validation

Results & Outcomes

The project produced a locally validated HIV viral load assay. 10 scientists from West Africa and 9 from Eastern Africa were trained in the course.

Current Organisation

Center of Medical Research Lambaréné (CERMEL)

Current Job Title

Senior Biologist

Areas Of Specialisation

Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) Tuberculosis (TB)


Abraham S. Alabi, Stephen W. Picka, Reubvera Sirleaf, Pacifique R. Ntirenganya, Arnold Ayebare, Nidia Correa, Sarah Anyango, Gerald Ekwen, Emmanuel Agu, Rebecca Cook, John Yarngrorble, Ibrahim Sanoe, Henry Dugulu, Emmanuel Wiefue, Diana Gahn-Smith, Francis N. Kateh, Ezekiel F. Hallie, Christiane G. Sidonie, Aaron O. Aboderin, David Vassellee, Damien Bishop, Daniel Lohmann, Manja Naumann-Hustedt, Alois Dörlemann and Frieder Schaumburg , Alabi et al. JAC-Antimicrobial Resistance, Volume 4, Issue 3, June 2022, dlac069
JAC-Antimicrobial Resistance

Background: Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes can improve the use of antimicrobial agents. However, there is limited experience in the implementation of such programmes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Objectives: To assess the effect of AMS measures in south-east Liberia on the quality of antimicrobial use in three regional hospitals.

Methods: A bundle of three measures (local treatment guideline, training and regular AMS ward rounds) was implemented and quality indicators of antimicrobial use (i.e. correct compounds, dosage and duration) were assessed in a case series before and after AMS ward rounds. Primary endpoints were (i) adherence to the local treatment guideline; (ii) completeness of the microbiological diagnostics (according to the treatment guideline); and (iii) clinical outcome. The secondary endpoint was reduction in ceftriaxone use.

Results: The majority of patients had skin and soft tissue infections (n=108) followed by surgical site infections (n=72), pneumonia (n=64), urinary tract infection (n=48) and meningitis (n=18). After the AMS ward rounds, adherence to the local guideline improved for the selection of antimicrobial agents (from 34.5% to 61.0%, P<0.0005), dosage (from 15.2% to 36.5%, P<0.0005) and duration (from 13.2% to 31.0%, P<0.0005). In total, 79.7% of patients (247/310) had samples sent for microbiological analysis. Overall, 92.3% of patients improved on Day 3 (286/310). The proportion of patients receiving ceftriaxone was significantly reduced after the AMS ward rounds from 51.3% to 14.2% (P<0.0005).

Conclusions: AMS measures can improve the quality of antimicrobial use in LMICs. However, long-term engagement is necessary to make AMS programmes in LMICs sustainable.

Version of Not Informed: not informed

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