africa centre of excellence for neglected tropical diseases and forensic biotechnology
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Africa Centre of Excellence for Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology. Ahmadu Bello University , Zaria, Nigeria. Briefs on Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Aerial View of a Section of the University. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

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africa centre of excellence for neglected tropical diseases and forensic biotechnology

Africa Centre of Excellence forNeglected Tropical Diseasesand Forensic Biotechnology

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

neglected tropical diseases ntds
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)
  • large and diverse group of diseases that disproportionately affect health and livelihood of the poor in the developing world
  • typically lack attention and funding for research and development.
  • Insufficient knowledge of the distribution and burden of NTDs, since there is no available database on the distribution of NTDs in Nigeria.
  • Lack of appropriate diagnostic tools
  • Lack of effective drugs and treatment failures due to the emergence of resistant strains of pathogens.
  • Absence of suitable vaccines and other preventive strategies such as vector control or other measures to disrupt the life cycle of the pathogens
african trypanosomiasis
African trypanosomiasis
  • disease that is resurgent in Africa contributing to heavy economic losses and socio-political crisis in the continent.
  • In human trypanosomiasis the parasites ultimately invade the brain, resulting in the disease syndrome known as sleeping sickness.

In Africa, trypanosomiasis occurs in 37 countries, extending to over 10 million square kilometres, a third of the continent.

  • It is estimated that 50 million cattle (about 30% of Africa\'s total cattle population) are exposed to the risk of infection.
  • In Nigeria and the West African sub-region the distribution of the different Trypanosoma species is unknown
lymphatic filariasis lf
Lymphatic Filariasis (LF)
  • also known as elephantiasis in humans, is a disabling, disfiguring, and stigmatizing disease caused by the infection with nematodes.
  • The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and has socio-economic burden in the rural poor communities in tropical and sub-tropical countries.
  • One billion of the world population are at risk in over 80 countries.

In Africa, LF affects over 40 million people in the sub-Saharan region where the prevalence in some communities in East Africa exceed 30%.

  • In Nigeria, no available reliable data on LF burden exist, due to lack of a database on the distribution of this NTD
  • Clinically, diagnosis can be made on circumstantial evidence with support from antibody or other laboratory assays such as immune-chromatographic test, which is not very reliable
  • This calls for the use of more sensitive, species specific and stage-independent diagnostic molecular tools.
  • highly fatal viral zoonosis caused by members of the genus Lyssavirus, characterised by encephalomyelitis.
  • At least 55,000 people die annually from rabies worldwide and over 90% result following transmission after a dog bite.
  • The burden of rabies lies heavily in the developing world with over 40% in Africa.

In these regions, the main reservoir is the domestic dog.

  • The population of the reservoirs is increasing, stray dogs are common on the streets and owned dogs are poorly catered for.
  • Human exposure following a dog bite exposes about 10,000 people to rabies annually in Nigeria and capacity for accurate diagnosis of the disease is limited

Rabies is grossly underreported especially in the regions with the highest disease burden and

  • the extent of spread and the genotypes responsible for the diseases are not fully known

All these challenges in NTDs require expertise in molecular biotechnology.

  • Such expertise is urgently needed in the private and public sectors, such as Forensic science.
forensic science
Forensic Science
  • The West African region is faced with lots of challenges ranging from
    • crimes,
    • organized kidnap by criminal gangs and
    • immigration issues
  • disasters emanating from wars, fire out breaks, air and road accidents, makes it difficult for relations to identify family members culminating into mass burial.
  • The increasing difficulty to resolve murder and paternity problems and claims to different genealogies, has
    • diminished our ranking in modern science, and
    • our ability to exploit current developments in the resolution of social challenges.
academic and research programs
Academic and Research Programs
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Biotechnology
  • Diploma in Entomology
  • MSc Biotechnology
  • PhD Biotechnology
  • MSc/PhD Biochemistry
  • MSc/PhD Biological Sciences
  • MSc/PhD Veterinary Public Health
  • MSc/PhD Pharmaceutical Microbiology
regional student plan
Regional Student Plan
  • Provision of Accommodation waivers
  • Provision of Reagents and Infrastructure
  • Joint supervision
industry sector partnership
Industry/Sector Partnership
  • Nigerian Police and Interpol
  • INEC
  • Helen Keller Foundation
  • African Program on Onchocerciasis Control
  • Dairy Industries
sustainable financing plan
Sustainable Financing Plan
  • Consultancy with Security Agencies
  • School fees
  • Partnership with Industries (Vaccines, Animal production)
implementation arrangements
Implementation Arrangements
  • Existence of Monitoring and Evaluation Office on Revised Plan (lessons from World Bank Step B)
  • Steering Committee
  • International Advisory Board
procurement arrangements
Procurement Arrangements
  • Finance Officer, Accountant, Auditor
  • Procurement Act of the FGN
  • Rules and Regulations of the World Bank
  • Sourcing
  • National Competitive Bidding (NCB)
  • International Competitive Bidding (ICB)

Proposal Information

The aims of the proposed African Centre for Excellence (ACE) are:

  • to conduct research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and
  • to use the expertise in molecular techniques applied in NTD research for capacity building in other fields such as forensic biotechnology

The project has a head start as project Partners already have preliminary information that TS genes are developmentally regulated in Trypanosomes

  • This knowledge will cut down on the selection of potential epitopes for the construction of DNA based vaccines

A complementary objective of the Consortium is

  • to deploy its competences in the area of recombinant DNA technology to capacity building in the area of Forensic biotechnology.
  • One of the Work Packages focuses on this priority and includes several specific training modules
capacity building
Capacity building

At least 100 personnel will be trained in

24 months skilled in the use of PCR in the delineation of paternity disputes, and crime intelligence and Gene bank documentation

key selected disbursement linked indicators selected dlis
Key selected Disbursement Linked Indicators (selected DLIs)
  • 35 % M.Sc. and PhD Students-regional from 2015-2018
  • 25 publications in Elsevier rated Journals
  • International accreditation :
    • Thompson,
    • DAAD
    • Spanish Medical Research Council
    • Shanghai
internationally regionally sub regionally accredited education programs training quality
Internationally (regionally/sub-regionally) accredited education programs (→ Training Quality)

No of faculty trained in an area relevant to the ACE-Programme, through training carried out by or organized through the ACEs (→ Training Quality)


% of non-national students studying for at least 1 semester/ academic term in ACEs, in a discipline supported through the ACE-Programme (→Regionality

key ace partners in the region
Key ACE Partners in the Region
  • Nigerian Institute for Trypanosomiasis Research (NITR)
  • Nigerian Medical Research Institute (NIMR)
  • University of Ngaoundere (Cameroun)
  • Institute for Agricultural Research for Development Cameroon

International Collaborators Outside the Region

  • University of Bremen (University of Excellence in Germany)
  • Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, Atlanta, USA)
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • University of Western Cape, South Africa
  • Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Japan