PROJECTS

Epidemiology and treatment of imported malaria

Severe malaria is life-threatening infection. New, safe and effective drugs are needed to treat this infection. The group focuses on improving treatment of severe malaria with intravenously applied artemisinin drugs. Artemisinin drugs are the key drugs in the WHO global strategy to roll back malaria, but is now well established that they can cause delayed haemolytic reactions two to six weeks after treatment. „Post-Artemisinin Delayed Haemolysis“ – now a widely known adverse drug reaction – was first described by our group. Up to 25% of patients have recurring and severe anaemia after being discharged from hospital. Data from our centre led to a major improvement in patient safety of artemisinin treatment worldwide.

Artemisinin combination drugs (ACT´s) are the WHO – defined standard of treatment also for uncomplicated malaria since the year 2000. After more than 15 years in clinical use worldwide, the group again demonstrated that late haemolytic reactions also occur in patients treated with oral ACT´s for uncomplicated malaria. Ongoing research aims to collect better data on risk factors and pathophysiology of late haemolytic reactions after antimalarial treatment, and to contribute to clinical development of new drugs. We also aim to translate new findings and developments from Europe back to malaria-endemic countries.

Clinical Studies:

  • MAL-RISK study (since 2018, ongoing)
  • TropNet Severe Malaria Study (2008-2015)
  • HAEMO-ART and TOX-ART studies (since 2014, ongoing)
  • Study site: Proof of Concept Study of Eurartesim® in Patients with Imported Uncomplicated Plasmodium vivax Malaria (2014-2016)

Respiratory disease in developing countries

Infectious diseases are still a relevant cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries, but morbidity and mortality due to chronic non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. The group works to establish the edidemiology, risk factors and determinants of healthcare provision for people affected by chronic obstructive lung disease in Africa, aiming to provide data for designing public and individual health interventions allowing to prevent and to treat chronic obstructive lung disease in resource-limited settings. Moreover, the group contributes to improving diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia and tuberculosis in developing countries.

Clinical studies:

  • Tanzanian Lung Health Study (2015-2016)

Chagas disease

Chagas disease is a parasitic infection endemic in most countries in Latin America and belongs to the group of „Neglected Tropical Diseases“.  Due to international migration, many people infected with Trypanosoma cruzi live now in Europe and in Germany. The project addresses the problems of missing epidemiological data and poor capacity for attending complex medical problems of patients affected in the German healthcare system.

Clinical studies:

  • „Erkennung und Lenkung von Chagas Patienten in Deutschland – ELCiD“. More information on the project website: www.chagas.info

Epidemiology of travel-associated infections (non-malarial)

The group is actively involved in research projects on the epidemiology of travel-related infections imported to Europe. We aim to raise the standards in diagnostic methods and clinical and therapeutic options. This knowledge also improves pre-travel risk assessment and efficacy of disease prevention.

Projects:

  • Epidemiology and clinical features of imported Schistosomiasis in European travellers (2017)
  • Epidemiology and clinical features of Dengue fever in German travellers (2015)
  • Partner of „DENGUE TOOLS“ consortium (2014-2016)