Dr Sophie Yacoub
Dengue is a viral infection with no therapy or effective vaccine, and a minority of patients go on to develop severe disease. To better control the infection, the dengue group at OUCRU is working to understand its biological mechanisms, targeting it with different therapies, and using innovative technology to monitor patients and predict which will develop severe disease.
Dengue Research Group Lead
Sophie is the Dengue Research Group lead at OUCRU-Vietnam, appointed in 2018. She’s a Physician in Infectious Diseases and General Medicine and holds an honorary Consultant appointment at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust in the UK. She holds a PhD from Imperial College London and an MSc from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Dengue continues to cause a major public health burden in Vietnam and globally. While most clinical cases resolve spontaneously, a proportion will develop severe manifestations, including bleeding, organ impairment, and capillary leakage sometimes leading to cardiovascular collapse. As yet, no antiviral agents or adjunctive therapies have been found to alter disease outcome in dengue.
The focus of the group is on translational clinical research to address some of the major questions and unmet needs in the dengue field, with the overall aim of impacting on dengue management and improving clinical outcomes.
Some key research areas include:
- Pathogenesis studies: Investigating the mechanism underlying the capillary leak in severe dengue.
- Cardiovascular monitoring and fluid management trials.
- Immunology studies: Investigating mechanisms of immunopathology in severe dengue, through collaborations with Oxford University and DUKE-NUS, Singapore.
- Innovations: Utilizing state-of-the art technology and smart devices for risk prediction. Through collaborations with Imperial College London we are setting up a platform for testing innovative technologies for improving dengue diagnostics and patient management.
- Clinical trials: of novel host-directed therapeutics, focusing on patients at higher risk of developing severe disease.
- Dengue virus transmission dynamics: through Monash University, Australia.
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McBride A. et al, (2021), The Lancet. Microbe