EMPOWER – Enrichment Metagenomic Profiling for Women’s Reproductive health  

Schistosomiasis is a chronic Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) affecting the health of more than 200 million people worldwide.  Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) is a long-term, debilitating consequence of urogenital S. haematobium infection; estimated to affect up to 56 million girls and women in sub-Saharan Africa. FGS is associated with significant long-term chronic disease, maternal complications, and likely increased risk of HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer. FGS symptoms and signs can often mimic those of STIs, which poses a significant diagnostic challenge for health care providers.

This 2 year project will design and develop a one-step multiplex whole genome sequencing platform for FGS and STI pathogen detection, drug resistance surveillance and vaginal microbiome analysis.

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