Two staff at UVRI recently acquired PhDs at the just recently concluded Makerere University graduations of 2022.
The included; Anne Kapaata with PhD in Molecular Virology and Stephen Balinandi with PhD in Virology.
Caption: BALINANDI Karabyo Stephen on his graduation day
Stephen Balinandi's Research Work
Mr. BALINANDI Karabyo Stephen investigated the diversity of ticks infesting cattle, and their importance for public health attention in Uganda. This is because ticks are now increasingly recognized as a major factor in the epidemiology of various zoonotic diseases. The field work was done in the districts of Kasese, Hoima, Gulu, Soroti and Moroto, between September and November 2017. In total, 4,362 ticks were collected from 500 cattle, from which 15 tick species were found. Prior to this study, the economically important tick species, Rhipicephalus microplus, that spreads fatal babesiosis in cattle, was only found in Serere district. With the work herein published, Rhipicephalus microplus has been found also in Gulu and Soroti districts. This study also identified several viruses that were circulating in Ugandan cattle, including 4 potential novel viruses. In addition, it was revealed from this study that Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, one of the most important tickborne infections for humans around the world, was widely spread in Uganda. Overall, this study highlighted the need for increased surveillance of tickborne diseases in Uganda, and for government policy to focus on control of ticks as an important vector of human diseases. The study was funded by the Swedish Research Council and supervised by Associate Professor Lawrence Mugisha, Associate Professor Maja Malmberg and Dr. Julius J. Lutwama.