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MOPACUR: Molecular parasitology in Rwanda

The neglected tropical diseases include many which are caused by parasite infections. Notably, the soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) and Giardia duodenalis infect several hundred million people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

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Molecular-parasitological Methods

The notorious problems of common microscopic diagnosis (sensitivity, efficiency) can be overcome by methods of molecular biology, and the understanding of parasitic diseases can thereby be improved. This, in turn, forms the prerequisite for novel approaches in diagnostics, treatment and prevention. In SSA, however, molecular-parasitological capacities are scarce. This project aims at contributing to overcome this limitation. Components include the formation of a research group on molecular parasitology in Rwanda, the improvement of diagnostic and research capacities as well as studies on parasitic drug resistance (STHs) and on functional epidemiology (Giardia).

Project Details

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. med. Frank P. Mockenhaupt

Co-workers: Steffen Zander, Doctoral students

Co-operations: University Teaching Hospital of Butare, School of Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda, Butare
Rwanda Institut für Parasitologie und Tropenveterinärmedizin
Freie Universität Berlin FG 16 Erreger von Pilz- und Parasiteninfektionen und Mykobakteriosen
Robert Koch-Institut

Project duration: 2013-2016

Project status: Lab implementation Analysis

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Krücken J, Fraundorfer K, Mugisha JC, Ramüncke S, Sifft KC, Geus D, Habarugira F, Ndoli J, Sendegeya A, Mukampunga C, Bayingana C, Aebischer T, Demeler J, Gahutu JB, Mockenhaupt FP, von Samson-Himmelstjerna G. Reduced efficacy of albendazole against Ascaris lumbricoides in Rwandan schoolchildren. Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist, in press

Sifft KC, Geus D, Mukampunga C, Mugisha JC, Habarugira F, Fraundorfer K, Bayingana C, Ndoli J, Umulisa I, Karema C, von Samson-Himmelstjerna G, Aebischer T, Martus P, Sendegeya A, Gahutu JB, Mockenhaupt FP. Asymptomatic only at first sight: malaria infection among schoolchildren in highland Rwanda. Malar J. 2016 Nov 14;15(1):553.

Tacoli C, Gai PP, Bayingana C, Sifft K, Geus D, Ndoli J, Sendegeya A, Gahutu JB, Mockenhaupt FP. Artemisinin Resistance-Associated K13 Polymorphisms of Plasmodium falciparum in Southern Rwanda, 2010-2015. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Nov 2;95(5):1090-1093.

Ignatius R, Klemm T, Zander S, Gahutu JB, Kimmig P, Mockenhaupt FP, Regnath T. Highly specific detection of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts in human stool samples by undemanding and inexpensive phase contrast microscopy. Parasitol Res. 2016 Mar;115(3):1229-34.

Heimer J, Staudacher O, Steiner F, Kayonga Y, Havugimana JM, Musemakweri A, Harms G, Gahutu JB, Mockenhaupt FP. Age-dependent decline and association with stunting of Giardia duodenalis infection among schoolchildren in rural Huye district, Rwanda. Acta Trop. 2015 May;145:17-22.

Danquah I, Gahutu JB, Ignatius R, Musemakweri A, Mockenhaupt FP. Reduced prevalence of Giardia duodenalis in iron-deficient Rwandan children. Trop Med Int Health. 2014 May;19(5):563-7.