Professor George Warimwe
Exploiting synergies in human and veterinary vaccinology
Video published by the World Economic Forum in February 2018. There are virtually no interactions between researchers developing vaccines for animals and for humans. George Warimwe explains how his research group has successfully developed a multi-species vaccine for Rift Valley fever – and how this could work for other infectious diseases transmitted between humans and animals.
Royal Society 2021 Africa Prize lecture. More than 70% of emerging infectious diseases (including viruses) are zoonotic, meaning they are acquired from animals, with some causing serious illness and death in humans as well as the animal host. But, what if we could immunise both humans and animals with the same vaccine?
BVM PhD MRCVS
Professor of Vaccinology
I work on viral infections transmitted between humans and animals in Africa, developing vaccines for their control. An example is Rift Valley Fever - a mosquito-borne viral illness that primarily affects humans and livestock (sheep, goats, cattle) in Africa – for which we have developed a novel chimpanzee adenovirus vectored vaccine, that is highly efficacious in livestock and is currently in human phase I clinical trials. Our previous work includes a similar One Health vaccine for use against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in camels and humans, with our veterinary research programmes continuing to inform advances in human vaccinology.
We are also addressing the global shortage in Yellow Fever (YF) vaccine supply through trials to evaluate the utility of fractional vaccine dosing for epidemic control. Findings from this work will have a major impact on the number of doses that can be administered based on the current global stock of YF vaccine and the number of doses that are produced for future use. Our recent work on COVID-19 serology in Kenya has informed decisions on the national pandemic response and remains one of the most comprehensive COVID-19 seroepidemiological programmes in Africa to date. More recently we have uncovered a high burden of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infections among children in coastal Kenya highlighting an urgent need to develop and evaluate vaccines that can safely provide protection against CHIKV in children in Kenya and other settings in Africa where disease is endemic.
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