Host institution: University College London, United Kingdom

Project title: Developing a tuberculosis sequencing pipeline for Gabon

Dr Agbo Achimi Abdu has gained undergraduate and graduate research experience in the three main areas of tuberculosis: epidemiological research, laboratory techniques and writing a proposal. He has worked at the Centre de Recherche Médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL) in Gabon since November 2015.

AREF Fellowship research project:

Dr Agbo Achimi Abdu says “One of my major motivations is to always learn about the epidemiology and the molecular interpretation of the tuberculosis diagnosis. With the high rate of TB cases in my country, it is very important to learn more about how the disease is transmitted and the mechanism of resistance.

“TB is endemic in Gabon. We face a lot of multidrug resistance, which is a challenge for our public health system. Our research question is to define the range of resistance-associated mutations in the Gabon cohort. To address this question, my project will study TB patients and make the molecular characterisation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains to help us determine the mutation and correlate it to the resistance. This study will enable us to begin to map the transmission and evolution of drug-resistant TB in Gabon. This will place our data in the context of regional and international data and thus inform appropriate approaches to the management of tuberculosis in this community.”