The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) works to accelerate the development of vaccines against epidemic and pandemic threats. Since 2019, our lab team lends its expertise within this global coalition efforts to fight Lassa fever.
In 2019, our team managed the CEPI serum collection project in Nigeria (2019-2021), of which the main objective was to collect serum from Lassa fever survivors for the development of an Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody standard for Lassa diagnostics. Since 2020, the ENABLE program is funded by CEPI to gather detailed data about the incidence of Lassa virus infections in five West African countries (Benin, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone) and to provide information for designing future vaccine trials and vaccination strategies. This is the largest Lassa Fever study to date. This program also helps to strengthen the capacity of trial sites and investigators to conduct vaccine trials and addresses several gaps identified in the World Health Organization (WHO) Lassa Fever Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap.
The Virology department of the BNITM is the laboratory coordinator of the ENABLE program and our BNITM CEPI team provides key laboratory expertise for its successful implementation. Together with other coordinating partners including P95, the Margan Clinical Research Organization (MMARCRO) and MSF Epicentre, the BNITM team supports nine implementing partner sites across these five countries with harmonized laboratory processes, ranging from sample collection to safe sample handling and further downstream analysis, trainings and quality assurance management tools. Another ongoing CEPI project aims to evaluate the clinical performance of the RealStar® Lassa virus RT-PCR 2.0 kit (altona Diagnostics, Hamburg, Germany) in Sierra Leone.
For more information click here.
CEPI ENABLE: Dr Ndapewa Ithete & Dr Nathalie Vielle & Dr Christine Jacobsen
CEPI-serum and CEPI-clinical performance: Dr Ndapewa Ithete