MU-UCSF collaboration was started in 1998 with a simple one room laboratory in Medical school (Makerere University) building diagnosing malaria on thick and thin smears. ln 2006 it was transformed into Molecular Research Laboratory (MOLAB) situated in Old Mulago Hospital behind Cancer Institute. This came about after building capacity by training laboratory personnel. MOLAB is the center of laboratory activities for many projects of MUCSF and UMSP. Over the years MOLAB has gained extensive experience in all aspects of laboratory diagnosis including malaria microscopy, HIV rapid diagnostic tests, TB hematological investigations and more sophisticated techniques such as molecular testing for parasite genotyping and malaria parasite culture. MOLAB has a core team of experienced laboratory staff drawn from academia, research and hospital clinical practice. The staff combines technical hands-on expertise with a proven track record of training a wide range of students both local and international. MOLAB laboratory personnel have supervised and trained technical laboratory staff at Makerere University Medical School, University of California, San Francisco, the sentinel surveillance sites established by the Uganda MOH and EANMAT, and in clinical trial settings. MOLAB has a well-equipped state-of-the-art laboratory at our core facility in Kampala. Over the past year and a half, MOLAB has collaborated with the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) of Makerere University in the development of a training effort called the Joint Uganda Malaria Training Program (JUMP), funded by ExxonMobil. This is a peer-reviewed program for hands-on training in malaria diagnosis for district health staff in Uganda. MOLAB personnel are the primary contributors to both the laboratory curriculum and delivery of the training in addition to site supervision. In the past three years it has managed to publish articles in high impact factor Journals
a).To distinguish known molecular markers associated with selection of resistance after Artemisinin combination therapy, develop systems for studying fresh Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates in Uganda, and assess associations between the in vitro drug sensitivity and genotypes of isolates and clinical outcomes after antimalarial therapy in Uganda
b). Build capacity in malaria laboratory diagnosis.
c). Perform malaria translation research using state of the arts technology.
1. Developed a state of the art laboratory able to culture malaria and perform genotyping.
2. MOLAB is currently the center of excellence in malaria diagnosis in Uganda.
a). Assessed changes in occurrence of various polymorphisms of a drug resistant allele of pfmdr-1 and pfcrt halotypes between baseline and new infections during therapy with artesunate / amodiaquine in Tororo Uganda.
b). Evaluated changes in complexity of infection during short time culture of fresh clinical Plasmodium falciparum isolates in Kampala Uganda.
c). Assessed the impact of various amodiaquine containing regimens on the in vitro sensitivity of recurrent Plasmodium falciparum isolates in Kampala Uganda.
d). Determined in vitro sensitivity patterns of Plasmodium falciparum fresh clinical isolates in Uganda against various antimalarial drugs in Kampala Uganda.
e). Evaluated associations between parasite genetic polymorphisms, in vitro drug sensitivity, and clinical outcomes after antimalarial therapy in Uganda
Current MOLAB activities
a). Monitor antimalarial drug resistance using molecular markers and in vitro sensitivity
b). Developing Tororo Molecular Research Laboratory (TOLAB) in Eastern Uganda with high Malaria transmission intensity.
PRINCPAL INVESTIGATOR - PHILIP J ROSENTHAL
LABORATORY DIRECTOR - SAMMUEL L. NSOBYA.
LABORATORY MANAGER (RESEARCH) - MOSES KIGGUNDU
LABORATORY MANAGER (CLINICAL) - MAXWELL KILAMA
GRADUATE STUDENTS (FIC TRAINEE’S) - SARAH NANJUNYA, GABRIEL TUMWINE
1. Samuel L. Nsobya. Sunil Parikh, Fred Kironde, George Lubega, Moses R. Kamya, Philip J.Rosenthal, Grant Dorsey, (2004). ‘’Molecular evaluation of the Natural History of Asymptomatic parasitemia in Ugandan Children’’J Infect Dis. 2004 Jun 15;189(12):2220-6.
2. Nsobya SL, Dokomajilar C, Joloba M, Dorsey G, Rosenthal PJ. 2007. Resistance-mediating Plasmodium falciparum pfcrt and pfmdr1 alleles after treatment with artesunate-amodiaquine in Uganda. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 51(8):3023-5.
3. Samuel L. Nsobya, Moses Kiggundu, Moses Joloba, Grant Dorsey, and Philip J. Rosenthal J Infect Dis. 2008 Nov 15;198(10):1554-7Complexity of Plasmodium falciparum clinical samples from Uganda during short-term culture
4. Fatima Nawaz, Samuel L. Nsobya, Moses Kiggundu, Moses Joloba, and Philip J. Rosenthal.(2009). Selection of Parasites with Diminished Drug Sensitivity by Amodiaquine-Containing Antimalarial Regimens in Uganda (accepted JID
5. Samuel L. Nsobya ,Moses Kiggundu, Sarah Nanyunja, Moses Joloba, Bryan Greenhouse, and Philip J. Rosenthal. In vitro sensitivities of Plasmodium falciparum to different antimalarial drugs in Uganda (in press).