5 June 2017
Dr Effua Usuf is a Post-Doctoral Clinical Epidemiologist working within the Disease Control and Elimination Theme on evaluating the relationship between pneumococcal serotypes in nasopharyngeal carriage and invasive disease after the introduction of the 13-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13) in The Gambia.
Following the introduction of PCV13, there has been a decrease in both disease and carriage caused by pneumococcal serotypes included in the vaccine but also an increase in other serotypes. The rationale behind the study is to determine how pneumococcal carriage can be used to monitor the impact of PCV on pneumococcal disease. Carriage surveys are quick and relatively cheap and would be very useful in resource-poor settings if they can be used to predict disease pattern at the community level.
As the Principal Investigator for this study, Effua’s previous experience in field epidemiology and data analysis are key to the success of the project. To demonstrate her research during the MRCG festival, the following tools will be on display; nasopharyngeal swab, swab transport medium, blood culture bottles, plates with S. Pneumoniae and one or two other bacteria, empty PCV vials.
When asked to comment about her expectations for the event, Effua said “It is a great opportunity to showcase the work that I do. My desire will be for people to understand what we do with the samples and the information we collect from them and more importantly how these could contribute to policies within and beyond The Gambia”.
Effua’s research interest is in bacterial infections focusing on prevention particularly with vaccines. She is Gambian, graduated from medical school in Ghana and subsequently obtained an MSc and later a PhD from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Beyond research, Effua is passionate about ensuring we have systems that work within the context of our limited resources in this part of the globe.