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Lassa Fever Redeemer’s University says vaccine to combat disease coming soon

Adeyewa also said the University has successfully developed rapid diagnostic kits and drugs to combat the disease.

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Redeemer’s University play

Redeemer’s University

(Redeemer’s University)

The Vice-Chancellor of Redeemer’s University, Ede-Osun State, Prof. Debo Adeyewa, has announced that the institution is making progress in the development of a Lassa Fever vaccine.

Adeyewa also said the University has successfully developed rapid diagnostic kits and drugs to combat the disease.

 The Vice-Chancellor highlighted that the drugs and kits were developed by a researcher, Prof. Christian Happi, who is the Director, World Bank Funded African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases.

On his part, Happi said “Because PCR is highly skilled and expensive technology for diagnosis, we went on to develop a less complex and cheaper Lassa fever diagnostics. In 2014, we developed and tested the first generation of Lassa fever rapid diagnostic test.

“Now, we have successfully developed a pan-Lassa fever test that is highly sensitive and specific. A prototype has been produced.”

He also said “Furthermore, studying B-cell repertoire (immune response) from Lassa fever survivors, we have identified four neutralising antibodies that significantly inhibit the Lassa fever virus. This provides the first scientific evidence of immunotherapeutics ticker Lassa fever. These findings have been reviewed for publication in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Immunology.”

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“Using next generation sequencing approach, we have identified a signal of natural selection in human gene called LARGE in the Yoruba populations of the South-West of Nigeria that may be associated with protection to Lassa fever virus. We have hypothesised the potential mechanisms of protection and believe that this could be the key to the future Lassa fever vaccine,” Happi said.

Stay up to date with latest developments relating to the Lassa Fever outbreak in Nigeria here>> Read More.

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