National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Dr Hlumani Ndlovu

Ground-breaking vaccine may be key to controlling and eliminating bilharzi

A researcher who is committed to the challenge of finding ways to help patients overcome the disease is Dr Hlumani Ndlovu, a lecturer in the Division of Chemical and Systems Biology at University of Cape Town. He and his team are working to develop a vaccine to eradicate bilharzia, investigating the immuno-biology of the disease using animal models to mimic infection in humans.

“There is an urgent need to understand the immuno-biology of schistosomiasis to facilitate the development of effective vaccines,” says Ndlovu. “The study was designed to contribute knowledge to address this important challenge. Our vision is to use the knowledge gained from the study to develop a solution that will boost the host’s B cell responses during chronic schistosomiasis to limit tissue pathology, particularly in the liver. This work will be undertaken using non-human primates that closely resemble humans. Efforts to secure funds to continue with our work are ongoing.” (Read more about her in the Mail & Guardian article. Mail & Guardian is an NSTF media partner.)

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