News

January 2024

Summary of the Celebration of World Day for Neglected Tropical Diseases at CERMEL in Lambaréné/Gabon

On the occasion of the World Day for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD), the Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné (CERMEL) and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) have, in partnership with the Gabonese Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the University of Health Sciences (USS) and the Centre International de Recherche Médicale de Franceville (CIRMF), held a scientific day on January 30, 2024, at the Hôtel Hibiscus Louis, Libreville.
The day began with an opening ceremony officiated by Dr. Jean Romain Mourou, representing the Minister of Health. Under the theme of "Unite, Act, Eliminate", the plenary session opened the debate on strategies to eradicate NTDs, followed by enriching participant exchanges.
Discussions covered a wide range of NTDs, from loiasis to urogenital schistosomiasis, geohelminthiasis and trypanosomiasis, not forgetting the importance of vector control against vectors such as hematophagous flies in the transmission of arboviruses (dengue, chikungunya, etc.).
In parallel, on January 29, 2024, the Ministry of Health launched a screening campaign for sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis, HAT) in a suburb of Libreville, revealing probable cases and underlining the need to intensify epidemiological surveillance.
The day's conclusions led to strategic resolutions to strengthen collaboration between the various health players in Gabon to combat and, if possible, eliminate neglected tropical diseases.

We thank the organising committee (Dr Josiane Honkpehedji, Dr Rella Zoleko Manego, Prof Ghyslain Mombo Ngoma, Prof Ayola Akim Adegnika, Marisca Tsoni Malekou) and the CERMEL support teams (Dr Saskia Dede Davi, Prof Michael Ramharter and Cédric Mbavu from BNITM, Prof Marielle Bouyou Akotet from USS and Dr Julienne Atsame from the Ministry of Health) for their outstanding commitment and dedication to this important and vital cause.

This film gives you an impression of the event.


January 2024

Sophie Kellner has been with us since the beginning of January. Sophie is a project manager in the Omansen group and is mainly involved with the new ICU in Nigeria. We wish her every success and a warm welcome!


October/November 2023

We warmly welcome our new colleague Dr. Augusto Meneguim to the Groger team. Augusto will be involved in the Lassa research as a clinical research physician. We wish you a pleasant and successful time with us.


October 2023

A comprehensive review on the filarial pathogen Loa loa was published in Lancet Infectious Diseases. This paper summarizes our current understanding of this extremely neglected tropical disease, updates our knowledge on its epidemiology, and proposes a new management algorithm. Loa loa is one of our main research focusses in collaboration with the CERMEL in Gabon.

 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37858326/

 

 


September 2023

On September 20th and 21st, 2023, the Site Initiation Visit of the clinical study CORMA-BIL took place at Cermel in Lambarene, Gabon. CORMA-BIL is the second study of the CORMA project, funded by DZIF, and focuses on the effectiveness and safety of Pyronaridin/Artesunate and Pyronaridin/Artesunate/Praziquantel for the treatment of uncomplicated Schistosoma haematobium infections in Gabonese adolescents and children.


September 2023

Chiara is a medical student currently at CERMEL, Gabon. She supports the team regarding the CORMA-BIL study.

Victor Pahl, 27-year-old German/French medical student in the 11th semester. Conducts clinical research at CERMEL in Gabon for the project LoaCare (Med4Pride).

 


August/September 2023

Dr. Caroline Klenk will support us as a physician in the outpatient clinic and scientifically in the clinical research department. We are looking forward to the collaboration and wish Ms. Klenk a good start! Welcome to the team!


August 2023

Our department welcomes a new member, Dr. Ester Orban, as a project manager for the Lassa-studies. Welcome to the team!


July 2023

Parliamentary Breakfast of the PDP Coalition in the German Bundestag

MMV (medicines for malaria venture) invited Dr Mirjam Groger to report at a Parliamentary Breakfast on 07 July about the potential of cooperation between academic research institutions. The event was organised by DNDi (Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative) under the patronage of Prof. Dr Andrew Ullman MdB (Chair of the Subcommittee on Global Health). As an example, she presented the cooperation of the BNITM with various Product Development Partnerships (PDP). The BMBF (Ministry of Education and Research) is again funding five PDPs that do research and development (R&D) for poverty-associated neglected diseases in international cooperations. For this purpose, the BMBF is providing up to 50 million euros over a period of five years via KfW.

 


June 2023

Dr Johannes Mischlinger and Charlotte Kriebel were awarded with prizes at KIT2023!

The Congress on Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine took place in Leipzig from 14-17 June 2023 and our department was very well represented with poster presentations (Jochum, Kriebel, Omansen), lectures (Jordan, Ramharter) and interested congress attendees.

The German Society for Tropical Medicine, Travel Medicine and Global Health (DTG) honoured Johannes Mischlinger with the Prize for Tropical Medicine 2023 for his work on "Optimising the Management of Tropical Diseases on the Individual and the Population Level". His focus here is on improving the diagnostics and management of malaria and loiasis infections.

Charlotte Kriebel received a poster award from the DTG for her poster presentation "Psychiatric sequelae and psycho-social impact of Lassa fever in survivors in Edo State, Nigeria".

Excellent achievement! We congratulate you on your success.


May/June 2023

Dr Simone Wolff now joins the BNCCT team. We look forward to working with her and wish her an excellent start.

The Lab group Groger welcomes a new project manager for the ASAAP and Lassa projects, Dr Michael Wille. We wish him a good start and look forward to working with him.



April 2023

Launch of the eWHORM project to eliminate worm infections in Sub Saharan Africa
African and European project partners are working together to implement the World Health Organization's (WHO) "Roadmap for Neglected Tropical Diseases" (NTDs) and reduce the disease burden associated with worm infections.
The role of Clinical Research at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) within this network is to conduct the clinical trials on loiasis together with CERMEL in Gabon and the eWHORM consortium.


March 2023

World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in Geneva

Together with more than 600 other participants, our colleagues Ruth Ansah and Mirjam Groger are attending the first global meeting on skin-related neglected tropical diseases (skin NTDs). WHO is hosting the meeting to support networking among experts working in the field of Skin NTDs. Other objectives of the meeting are to share progress and challenges in implementing integrated activities on skin NTDs at country level, to present the results of research on skin NTDs as well as to plan the implementation of an NTD framework.


February 2023

Mirjam Groger is awarded the Wolfgang Stille Science Prize 2022

The Paul Ehrlich Society for Infection Therapy (PEG) awards the Wolfgang Stille Science Prize 2022 to our colleague Mirjam Groger for her excellent research work on the therapy of Lassa fever. Congratulations!


November 2022

21st International Leprosy Congress 2022
From 08-11 November, Mirjam Groger attended the ILC 2022 in Hyderabad, India.
The conference provides a platform for international experts to exchange their knowledge and discuss the latest developments in the field of leprosy. Our colleague Dr Groger used the visit to make new contacts and discuss research strategies with the head of the national leprosy control programme in Ghana.


October/November 2022

ASTMH Annual Meeting in Seattle

Johannes Mischlinger and Dorothea Ekoka Mbassi represented our department at this year's ASTMH meeting, which took place from 30.10.-03.11.2022 in Seattle. As congress visitors, they also presented the research activities of our department and met with colleagues from CERMEL as well as cooperation partners from Spain and Mozambique.


October 2022

20th International Congress of Tropical Medicine and Malaria in Thailand
After a COVID-19 related break, the ICTMM2020 was held in Bangkok from 24-28 October 2022. As invited speaker and co-chair of the symposium "Post-registration studies in antimalarial drug development", Dr Groger presented the results of the CANTAM-Pyramax study.


October 2022

Kick-off of the ASAAP study in Benin

From 18-21 October 2022, the initiation of the ASAAP project took place at the IRCB (Institut de Recherche Clinique du Bénin). Dr Groger was on site as a representative of the international clinical study coordination. In addition to the site initiation visit, representatives of authorities and communities were invited for discussion and prepared for the start of the clinical trial in Benin.


September 2022

LoloMox: Kick-off-Meeting 27-28 September 2022

LoloMox, funded by DZIF, is the first clinical trial evaluating the safety of Moxidectin 8mg in loiasis patients. The LoloMox Kick-off meeting was held in Gabon at Lambarene and at Sindara from 27th to 28th September 2022. Members of the study team (UKB, IRD, CERMEL and BNITM) attended in person or online for this hybrid meeting. During this kick-off meeting we visited the new research facility in Sindara (ISSA) and observed the tremendous progress at the site.


September 2022

The department is very pleased to welcome five new collegues joining our group:

- Ruth Ansah (Scientific Researcher in the Groger laboratory group)

- Marabelle Assandoh (Doctoral Student)

- Solveigh Jansson (Student Assistant)

- Charlotte Kriebel (Project Manager in the Leibniz Junior Research Group Omansen)

- Colette Sih (Project Manager in the Leibniz Junior Research Group Omansen)

We are happy about the new colleagues and wish them a good start!


August 2022

In August, the close-out visit for the MULTIMAL study took place at KCCR in Ghana. Veronika Schlicker and her colleagues ensured that all necessary aspects of the study closure were managed, including the organisation and completion of documentation and reporting

 


Juli 2022

Our department was honoured with the BNITM Research Highlight in Q2!


The paper Effectiveness of pyronaridine-artesunate against Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale spp, and mixed-Plasmodium infections: a post-hoc analysis of the CANTAM-Pyramax trial, published in The Lancet Microbe, with Mirjam Groger as first author, has been selected by the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine as its internal Research Highlight in Q2 2022. Congratulations to all colleagues involved!

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July 2022

We welcome Dr. Lars Matthies to the department. Mr. Matthies is supporting us in travel medicine consultation at the clinic as well as at the Bernhard Nocht Center for Clinical Studies. Welcome to the team!

 


June 2022

DTG Poster Prize for Hannah Müller

 

Our department was represented at the Conference on Tropical Medicine and Global Health in Rostock from June 23-25, 2022, with numerous colleagues and various presentations, posters, and talks to introduce our activities to a broader audience.

We are delighted that Hannah Müller from the Leibniz Junior Research Group led by Till Omansen was awarded one of the five poster prizes by the DTG. Her study on Electroencephalography (EEG) in Lassa fever patients was recognized, in which Ms. Müller found a high rate of abnormalities for a viral encephalitis.

Congratulations!

 


 

Juni 2022

Retreat 2022

The team met in person for the first time in three years for a department retreat. The beautiful Hanseatic city of Wismar provided us with the best conditions to work and exchange ideas in a pleasant environment.


June 2022

On June 1st, Mr. Maximilian Rakotonirinalalao starts as a new Clinical Data Manager in the laboratory group of Mirjam Groger. Warm welcome and an interesting time with us!


May 2022

Collaboration meeting with MAMAH partners

In early May, we welcomed Prof. Raquel Gonzáles (ISGlobal,, Barcelona) and Prof. Valérie Briand (IRD,, Bordeaux) for a mutual presentation of the projects. Both introduced their main projects and informed the team about their approach.


May 2022

The BNCCT is pleased to welcome our new colleague, Dr. Baiba Balode. Warm welcome and much joy to you in our team!


April 2022

DZIF TTU Malaria & NTD Meeting at BNITM in Hamburg

From 21 to 22 April, members of the group met and presented their project activities in the African partner countries and partner institutions

While Friday was dedicated to specific projects and studies on malaria, the development of a schistosomiasis test, filariasis biomarkers, helminths and concomitant infections, Lolomox and new drugs against filaria, the focus on Saturday was on the presentation of structural topics.

There were insights into a platform for clinical trials, clinical research groups at CERMEL in Lambaréné/Gabon and the KCCR in Kumasi/Ghana were presented and mathematical modelling as well as the development of African partner sites were outlined.

In addition, the participants were given an overview of the history of TTU and the recommendations of an internal audit.

The - for all participants interesting - meeting was rounded off with a discussion on strategies for the future development of the TTU.


März 2022

Site visit by Dr. Mirjam Groger to the study sites of the SAFARI study

The SAFARI drug trial is being conducted at ISTH and at FMCO, in close collaboration with INSERM/ALIMA, with the aim of improving treatment options for Lassa fever in endemic regions. This project contributes to capacity building for rapid containment of Lassa fever outbreaks and development of medical countermeasures in Nigeria, and is supported by the Global Health Protection Programme of the German Federal Ministry of Health. 


März 2022

Site initiation visit for CORMA-MAL

On 17 March, the site initiation visit for the CORMA-MAL clinical trial took place. For this, the two Hamburg team members Lidwine Badjina and Dr. Johannes Mischlinger met with colleagues from the project at CERMEL in Lambaréné. CORMA-MAL is the first study of the CORMA project, which is funded by the DZIF. The study is about the efficacy and safety of praziquantel for the treatment of Plasmodium falciparum infection in asymptomatic Gabonese adults.

 

März 2022

A warm welcome to our new colleague Elvis Oduro-Adomako! Elvis will support our project reporting.


Januar 2022

Project visit to Lambaréné and Sindara

Together with colleagues from CERMEL in Lambaréné, Professor Ramharter and Pia Michelitsch visited the the new research site in Sindara, which is under construction.