Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools to prevent infectious diseases. New vaccines against a battery of viral, parasitic and bacterial pathogens are currently planned or already in the development pipeline. Epidemiological and clinical studies are necessary to determine the existing disease burden of target diseases, the level of vaccine protection as well as the identification of appropriate target populations and the need for improvements to existing vaccination schemes and to quantify the add-on benefits such as herd protection and vaccine effects pertinent to the reduction of antimicrobial resistance.
Jointly with our partner group at the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and other collaborating institutions, we operate a network of field sites in 14 African and 12 Asian countries capable of conducting multi-center epidemiological field studies that provide well-characterized samples for basic research as well as a platform for the conduct of clinical trials.
Our research group focuses on the late-stage support of generating clinical data for a novel typhoid conjugate vaccine through a cluster-randomized Phase III trial in Ghana and an effectiveness trial in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, thereby generating data urgently required by the World Health Organization and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support vaccine introduction scenarios.
Our group is also supporting the clinical development of a novel schistosomiasis vaccine, Sm-p80, developed by colleagues from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, that is currently entering Phase I studies.
Apart from the conduct of epidemiological/clinical studies, this well-established field network will be leveraged as a platform for scientists in the Department and beyond to add-on study activities and obtain samples in high quality to execute basic sciences research.
Jeon HJ, Pak GD … Marks F; What is the best immunization strategy for protecting African children against invasive Salmonella disease? Clinical Infectious Diseases 2018. DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciy386
Kim J-H, Mogasale V … Marks F; Updates estimates of typhoid burden in sub-Saharan Africa. Lancet Global Health 2017. DOI: 10.1016/S2214-109X(17)30328-5
Marks F et al. Incidence of invasive Salmonella disease in sub-Saharan Africa: a multicenter population-based surveillance study. Lancet Global Health 2017;
Marks F et al.Effectiveness of the Viet Nam produced, mouse brain-derived, inactivated Japanese encephalitis vaccine in Northern Viet Nam. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2012. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001952
Zhang W … Marks F … Siddiqui AA;Sm-p80-based schistosomiasis vaccine: double-blind preclinical trial in baboons demonstrates comprehensive prophylactic and parasite transmission-blocking efficacy. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 2018. DOI: 10.1111/nyas.13942