Partner 19: Department of Paraclinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia (UZAM)
Role, qualification and experience
The University of Zambia was established in 1966 and the School of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1982. The School of Veterinary Medicine has excellent research facilities and laboratories including an infectious disease unit as well as an established postgraduate programme and capacity to offer and supervise postgraduate studies leading to MSc. and PhD. The School has four (4) departments: Biomedical, Paraclinical, Disease Control and Clinical studies. The Department of Paraclinical Studies is responsible for teaching and research in the field of Parasitology (among other courses) with emphasis on parasitic zoonotic diseases. Since 2002, the Department has been conducting studies on immunodiagnosis of Taenia solium cysticercosis in both humans and pigs. The laboratory has been designated a regional immunodiagnostic laboratory for Taenia solium by the Cysticercosis Working Group in Eastern and Southern African (CWGESA). As a regional laboratory, it has analyzed over 7,000 human and pig samples from the CWGESA member countries. More recently studies on immuno-pathological responses to T. solium in infected pigs including post-treatment with oxfendazole have been conducted in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen. Pig confinement and experimental facilities have been incorporated at the school to enable these studies. The section of Parasitogy has four members of staff with support of two laboratory technicians. The Section of Parasitology has in recent past also been actively involved in mapping Lymphatic Filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH). The Department serves as a FAO Reference Laboratory on Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) a fungal disease afflicting fish in the Southern Africa Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) region. The School itself serves as a FAO Reference Laboratory on Avian Influenza in the SADCC region.
Prof. Isaac K. Phiri, (PhD) is Professor of Parasite Immunology and Clinical Medicine. Prof Phiri has been coordinator of Danish- and Belgian-funded Research Capacity Building parasitology projects and has been coordinating research on cysticercosis in Zambia. He has also been serving as head of the CWGESA regional reference laboratory for immunodiagnosis of Taenia solium infections. He has authored over 30 peer reviewed publications. Prof Phiri also serves as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Chummy S. Sikasunge, BVM, MVM, PhD student is a lecturer in Veterinary Parasitology (Helminthology). He has 5 years of experience in the immunodiagnosis of T. solium infections. Currently is working on the immuno-pathological responses to T. solium infected in pigs including post-treatment with oxfendazole.