The use of a human challenge model to test pneumococcal vaccine efficacy in Malawi

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) was introduced in Malawi in 2012.  Contrary to expectation, the vaccine did not result in reduced pneumococcal carriage in vaccines and so high rates of transmission continue in Malawi, unlike in Europe.  We have developed a human challenge model in Liverpool over 10 years that has now been transferred for the first time to Malawi.  This model can be used to determine the immunological basis for poor vaccine performance in Malawi and to determine if alternative or improved vaccines might have greater impact.

Where does the project lie on the Translational Pathway?

T2 Human/Clinical Research

Expected Outputs

Publications, grants and impact to change vaccination in Malawi are expected in line with the decade of success in LSTM.

Training Opportunities

Clinical trials, laboratory skills, paper writing, statistics and presentation skills.

Skills Required

Ideally, students’ should bring skills in at least one of the domains (clinical, immunology, microbiology, clinical trials, social science) and expect to lean in other domains.