PROJECTS / STUDIES

Respiratory disease and tuberculosis 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 increases. The group works to establish the edidemiology, risk factors and determinants of healthcare provision for people affected by chronic lung diseases 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. Moreover, the group is interested to harness the potential of  eHealth and mHealth solutions to provide efficient healthcare to underpriviledged populations.

Clinical studies / projects:

  • Else Kröner Center for Heart and Lung Disease in Ifakara, central Tanzania (2020-2023, PI). Project page of Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel.
  • Health telematics for improving TB- and HIV-care in rural Tanzania (TB-HIV-Telematics, 2020 – 2022), see project page (PI)
  • TB-TRIAGE (2020-2024, participation as medical advisor)
  • Tanzanian Lung Health Study (2015-2016, PI)
  • NC-005 TB clinical trial (2014-2016, participation as medical advisor)
  • NC-006 TB clinical trial (2014-2016, participation as medical advisor)

COVID-19

The group contributes actively to the cohort studies Pa-COVID-19 (Charité) as well as to NAPKON-HAP and NAPKON-POP studies (link to NAPKON); both are multi-centre observational cohort studies investigating the clinical course and long-term outcomes of COVID-19. The group designed the follow-up study programme for the NAPKON-HAP cohort of patients who were hospitalized for COVID-19 and coordinates the clinical research for the Berlin site of NAPKON-POP, the population-based COVID-19 study. The groups main interest is the analysis of respiratory sequelae of COVID-19.

Clinical studies (participation as described above):

  • Pa-COVID-19 (2020-2021)
  • NAPKON-HAP (2020-ongoing)
  • NAPKON-POP (2020-ongoing)

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 (PI)

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 (PI):

  • MAL-RISK study part I (2018-2021)
  • SMPS (severe malaria pharmacovigilance system for intravenous artesunate, 2014-2020)
  • HAEMO-ART study (2014-2020)
  • TropNet Severe Malaria Study (2008-2015)
  • Study site: Proof of Concept Study of Eurartesim® in Patients with Imported Uncomplicated Plasmodium vivax Malaria (2014-2016)

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, PI)
  • Epidemiology and clinical features of Dengue fever in German travellers (2015, PI)
  • Partner of „DENGUE TOOLS“ consortium (2014-2016, participation)