Employing institution: University of Science and Technology of Masuku (Gabon)

Host institution: Interdisciplinary Center for Medical Research (Gabon) & MIVEGEC unit of the Institute for Research for Development (France)

Project title: Building research capacity to understand and respond to the Aedes albopictus invasion and the associated threat of arbovirus emergence in Central Africa.

Dr Obame-Nkoghe is a medical entomologist researcher and lecturer at the University of Science and Technology of Masuku in Gabon. His research focuses on understanding vector systems (ecology, adaptation, vector invasions, vector transmission of pathogens) and how they model the epidemiological patterns of vector-borne infectious diseases. 

AREF Fellowship Research Project:

Since its first record in Central Africa, Aedes albopictus continued to spread gradually across the entire region to become the dominant Stegomyia species in urban and rural areas, with a high disruption potential of arbovirus cycles. Studies have shown that the Ae. albopictus’ spread was mainly associated with a decline of native species sharing the same ecological niche, including Ae. aegypti, a native arbovirus vector. However, its interaction outcomes with the main sylvatic arbovirus vector, Ae. africanus, remains largely unknown. The main objective of the project is to identify the bioecological drivers associated to the invasion success of Ae. albopictus and assess how those influence the transmission of arboviruses within its areas of expansion in Central Africa.

Dr Obame-Nkoghe will be mentored by Dr Pierre Kengne and Dr Christophe Paupy at the Interdisciplinary Center for Medical Research in Franceville, Gabon and the MIVEGEC unit of the Institute for Research for Development, France respectively. He will benefit from skills in sampling, identification, evaluation of vector competence and insecticide resistance profile of Aedes mosquitoes. On his return, he will be mentored by Dr Landry Éric MOMBO to organize a workshop in biostatistics and apply for funding for his project.

“It is an unprecedented chance for me to have benefited from the support of AREF. It is a real springboard for young researchers.”