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Project title: Epidemiology of neglected zoonotic diseases in East Africa
A major research area in our group is the study of neglected zoonoses, a group of diseases affecting both livestock and human health (mainly in developing countries), and which are poorly understood both in terms of their basic biology and public health burden.
This PhD project will aim to investigate the epidemiology of neglected zoonotic diseases in rural (and possibly urban) settings in East Africa. Specifically, the project will investigate risk factors for infection with zoonoses in both humans and cattle, will investigate co-infections with multiple zoonoses and other endemic infections, and will study the public health and economic impact of zoonotic infections in both the human and cattle population. Data will be acquired through both a community-based cross-sectional sampling programme (for both the human and livestock elements), and through local and regional treatment centres (looking specifically at the reporting of morbidity). In humans, disease burden will be assessed and modelled using a range of summary measures of population health (including Disability-Adjusted Life Years - DALYs); in livestock, the monetary burden, in particular the impact of zoonotic and other diseases on production will be estimated, based on the field data.
The successful candidate will join a team of collaborative epidemiology and ecology researchers from Edinburgh, the USA, Switzerland and Kenya and would be expected to spend extensive periods working in East Africa, in collaborating institutions and the field. This opportunity is only open to those who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3+ years due to restrictions imposed by the funding body - see here for full details of eligibility.
Applicants should preferably have existing field research experience and be comfortable working in challenging conditions. Veterinary/medically qualified candidates, and basic scientists (preferably with an MSc degree), are welcome to apply. Interested individuals should send a CV and one page personal statement directly to Dr Eric Fèvre (Eric.Fevre@ed.ac.uk). The most competitive applicants will be put forward for consideration by a PhD funding committee in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, which has a number of studentships available to distribute across the School. The deadline for receipt of applications is 5th January 2010. This post is also advertised on FindaPhD.com.
- Fèvre, E.M. et al (2008). Estimating the burden of rhodesiense sleeping sickness during an outbreak in Serere, eastern Uganda. BMC Public Health, 8, pp. 96 (link)
- World Health Organization. (2006). The Control of Neglected Zoonotic Diseases: A Route to Poverty Alleviation. Geneva: WHO (link)
- World Health Organization. (2009). Integrated Control of Neglected Zoonotic Diseases in Africa: Applying the 'One Health' Concept. Geneva: WHO (link)
- Carabin, H. et al (2005). Methods for assessing the burden of parasitic zoonoses: echinococcosis and cysticercosis. Trends in Parasitology, 21, pp. 327-333 (link)
- Engels, D. & Savioli, L. (2006). Reconsidering the underestimated burden caused by neglected tropical diseases. Trends in Parasitology, 22, pp. 363-366 (link)
The Zoonotic and Emerging Disease group studies a range of epidemiological issues revolving around the domestic livestock, wildlife and human interface