In collaboration with the Tanzania National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Capacity development and strengthening in preparation for HIV vaccine trial in Tanzania and Burkina Faso

Principal Investigator: Saidi Kapiga

Project Coordinators: Harr Freeya Njai, Aika Mongi

Funding: European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)

HIV genotyping training.

Summary: The development of an HIV vaccine remains one of the most difficult challenges confronting biomedical research today. The overall aim of this proposal is to establish and strengthen research capacity, and conduct specific research studies in preparation for clinical trials to assess the protective efficacy of HIV candidate vaccines in Mwanza and Moshi in Tanzania, and Bobo-Dioulasso and Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.

To establish and strengthen research capacity, the following activities will be implemented:

  • Strengthening of Mwanza Intervention Trials Unit, with administrative and technical support from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • Develop laboratory capacity to separate plasma and process peripheral blood mononuclear cells, HIV viral genotyping, immunological assays, genetic testing, and monitoring safety of future trial participants.
  • Development of GCP-compliant data management systems and apply them in the ongoing or new cohort studies.
  • Comprehensive training programme developed, including short courses in research methods, GCP, GLP, data management, ethical review; and longer-term MSc and PhD training.
  • Community Advisory Boards (CABs) will be established and strengthened, and workshops to share best practices conducted.

Cells separation laboratory.

The specific research objectives are to:
  • Develop and maintain study cohorts among high-risk populations, and conduct preliminary analytical work, using data from previous studies and this project, to characterise potential study populations for future phase II/III HIV vaccine trials.
  • Characterise HIV-1 viral isolates and assess factors associated with viral genotypes among identified target populations.
  • Determine immunological and genetic factors that could confer resistance to HIV infection and/or slow down disease progression.