Dr Eniyou Oriero produced a new field-adapted molecular test for the diagnosis of malaria infections

10 May 2016
Dr Eniyou Cheryll Oriero, an early career Research Scientist with a keen interest in Molecular biology and Infectious disease research. Eniyou obtained her first degree in Biochemistry at the Delta State University, Nigeria in 2001 and her Master degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2005. She worked on molecular characterisation and genetic transformation of food crops at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Nigeria, before switching to medical research.

Dr Eniyou Cheryll OrieroEniyou joined MRC Unit The Gambia in 2007, where she worked on several malaria diagnostics, molecular epidemiology and proteomics projects. She soon received an MRCG funded PhD Training Fellowship in 2011, and in 2015, she was successfully awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sciences at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Eniyou’s research Field implementation and evaluation of novel isothermal, nucleic acid-based diagnostic tools for malaria elimination in sub-Saharan Africa focused on improving the sensitivity of malaria diagnosis in the field to identify asymptomatic carriers who usually have low parasite densities but can still maintain transmission to reduce the human reservoir of infection and consequently malaria transmission.

Eniyou successfully identified a novel target (the Apicoplast genome) with higher sensitivity than those currently used in molecular diagnosis of malaria and optimized it with an isothermal amplification method known as loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). The LAMP was tested first on archived samples and then was deployed in a field setting and compared with the currently recommended malaria diagnostic tools. Sensitivity and specificity of the new test were significantly better than standard methods and compared well with laboratory-based molecular tests. Eniyou is currently using the new test in a large malaria survey involving several thousand of people, in Farafenni, to show that it can be efficiently used in the field on a large number of samples.

Eniyou has four first author publications from her PhD project, has published in reputable peer review journals and has provided several oral and poster presentations at major international conferences. In recognition of her outstanding scientific outputs from her research, Eniyou was nominated for the 2014 ASTMH Young Investigator Award and Elsevier Clinical Research Award. Eniyou is an exceptional tutor and mentor to aspiring scientists within MRC Unit The Gambia.

Eniyou’s supervisor Professor Umberto D’Allessandro remarked “I am extremely happy Eniyou obtained her PhD degree from Antwerp University; she is the first MRC Unit The Gambia’s student I have supervised to have completed such training. Her work is extremely important for malaria elimination as she produced a new, field-adapted molecular test for the diagnosis of malaria infections.”

More about Eniyou’s research on https://www.mrc.gm/eniyou-designed-new-primers-targeting-the-apicoplast-genome-for-molecular-diagnosis-of-malaria/