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The Centre is always open to approaches from new fellows (junior or senior) who might wish to relocate to our Centre. Please e-mail our director, Professor Andy Waters (


Determination of schistosomiasis environmental contamination and potential intervention strategies

Primary supervisor: Dr Poppy Lamberton (Global Health Parasitologist), BAHCM & WCMP, MVLS

Co-supervisors: Dr Stephanie Connelly (Environmental Engineer) and Dr Cindy Smith (Microbiologist, Infrastructure and Environment), CSE

Schistosomiasis affects >240 million people, reducing children’s physical and cognitive development and causing severe morbidity including liver fibrosis and cancer in adults. Schistosoma mansoni miracidia hatch from eggs in human faeces when excreta enter fresh water.  Miracidia infect snails and reproduce releasing thousands of cercariae that burrow into humans on contact with contaminated water. Mass treatment is the current control strategy yet across Africa, where pit latrines and open defecation are commonplace, intensities remain high. Locally appropriate sanitation solutions are urgently required to reduce transmission and prevent reinfection. This PhD brings together a world-leading multidisciplinary team with expertise in schistosomiasis (PL), environmental engineering (SC) and microbiology (CS) to enable:

1) seasonal quantification of S. mansoni in soil and water surrounding pit latrines using qPCR coupled with characterisation of total microbial communities and select environmental parameters to identify correlations with S. mansoni environmental abundance;

2) laboratory characterisation and optimisation of low-cost intervention strategies including anaerobic digestion and pasteurisation of sewage, and, UV treatment and biofiltration of water, to inactivate S. mansoni eggs, miracidia, and cercariae alongside common local pathogens;

3) field trials of the optimised sanitation system(s) in Mayuge District Uganda.

Results will directly inform transmission models and future interventions.

For further details:

Deadline for applications - 28th August 2017

Start date October 1, 2017