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Featured Research from Stanford University

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Project Burden of Chikungunya and Dengue in Kenya, Kenya, Stanford University (7/1/2013 - 6/30/2018)

Principal Investigator:

Outbreaks of arthropod-borne viruses, such as dengue (DENV) and chikungunya (CHIKV) viruses, demonstrate the substantial cost and health burden of these emerging/re-emerging health threats to the developing and developed world. In sub-Saharan Africa, routine passive surveillance for these diseases detects only a fraction of their impact, given the high probability of misdiagnosis and unknown levels of transmission across different landscapes and within different susceptible populations.

Project Predicting dengue transmission in a changing climate to improve mosquito control, Stanford University (Depts of Biology and Pediatrics) (7/1/2016 - 6/30/2018)

Principal Investigator:

Dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and other Aedes aegypti-transmitted viruses are a major concern throughout the tropics and sub-tropics, and better mosquito control could dramatically reduce disease burden. Mosquito control is currently inefficient and poorly targeted in part because of a general lack of mosquito surveillance data in most places. Understanding the links between climate, mosquito abundance, and dengue infections would promote a more effective allocation of costly and sometimes environmentally damaging mosquito control resources, such as insecticides.

Project Characterizing the Effects of Antenatal Parasitic Infection on Fetal Immune System Development, Stanford University, Case Western Reserve University, Ministry of Health- Kenya (1/1/2016 - 1/1/2017)

Principal Investigator:

Extensive resources are being committed to improve global childhood vaccination coverage, but the response to standard vaccination is often diminished in children from developing nations. The ineffectiveness of vaccination programs in developing communities has been blamed on cold chain lapses and lack of supportable infrastructure, but chronic infections also play a significant role. Multiple maternal parasitic infections affect the unborn infant and are potentially important vaccine response modifiers, but have not been well studied.

Project The Spectrum of Zika Virus Disease in Grenada, Stanford (1/1/2017 - 1/1/2018)

Principal Investigator:

Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) comprise many of the most important emerging pathogens due to their geographic expansion and their increasing impact on vulnerable populations. In 2015, Zika virus (ZIKV) became the newest emerging public health threat to Latin America, with more than 14,000 cases in Salvador, Brazil, and accruing substantial evidence of resultant Guillain-Barré and microcephaly.

Project Neurodevelopment and Vector-borne Diseases: Building Research Capacity in the Tropics, Stanford (September 1, 2016 - 8/31/2018)

Principal Investigator:

Vector-borne diseases (VBD) pose a significant economic and public health threat throughout developing
tropical regions worldwide, including the Caribbean. The introduction in December 2013 and rapid spread of
the chikungunya virus (CHIKV) throughout all the Caribbean nations, and more recently the emergence of the
zika virus in Suriname and Martinique highlights the need to develop regional capacity to investigate, predict,
contain, and respond to VBD.

Project Complex Data and Deep Learning for Disease Outbreak Prediction, Stanford (1/1/2017 - 1/1/2018)

Principal Investigator:

Disease outbreaks are not easily predicted because they occur only when multiple factors trigger the rapid spread of disease. Key factors can often be identified, e.g., excess rainfall leading to outbreaks of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV)1,2, but the complex circumstances that lead to outbreaks remain elusive for several reasons. First, gathering varied datasets (climatic, genetics, demographic, historical, and behavioral) is time consuming and expensive.

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