Title: The epidemiology and impact of inter-epidemic Rift Valley Fever in Tanzania
Eligibility: The studentship is intended as one of the seven ZELS-AS studentships that will be allocated to nationals of developing countries, and for this study, preference will be given to nationals from the East African region.
Supervisors: This PhD studentship will be linked with the project investigating Social, Economic and Environmental Drivers of Zoonoses in Tanzania (SEEDZ) (Co-PIs: Prof. Sarah Cleaveland and Prof. Jo Sharp).
The inter-disciplinary supervisory team will be drawn from researchers at the University of Glasgow, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Tanzania, and partner institutions in the ZELS consortium, with expertise in epidemiology, vector ecology, virology, mathematical modelling and social sciences.
Link to studentship application: Apply via the MVLS Graduate School - online application form
Outline: Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a vector-borne viral disease that poses a serious threat to human and livestock health in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease can be fatal in both humans and animals and causes major productivity losses in livestock, with serious social and economic impacts for livestock-keeping families and the livestock industry.
RVF classically occurs as large epidemics that are usually associated with periods of high rainfall when mosquito vectors can proliferate. However RVF virus (RVFV) infection has also been detected between epidemics in a range of mammalian host species, including livestock, wildlife and humans, as well as in mosquito vectors. This PhD will investigate the epidemiology and impact of inter-epidemic infection in order to understand where and how infection is maintained between epidemics, the impacts of inter-epidemic infection, and how intervention strategies might be targeted to reduce these impacts.
This study will draw on a range of methodologies to investigate the epidemiology of inter-epidemic RVF, including newly developed serological methods, field epidemiological studies, molecular epidemiology, studies of mosquito vector ecology, epidemiological modelling and social science studies. The PhD will focus on RVF in the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania, where preliminary studies in the have demonstrated RVFV infection in mosquitoes, livestock and wildlife species in periods between outbreaks.
Visit the ZELS DTP website for more information about ZELS and other studentship projects: http://www.gla.ac.uk/zels