Evaluation of antibody responses against HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 viral infections

Chivaura-Mudukuti’s research project will focus on evaluating antibody responses in three cohorts. These cohorts include anti-retroviral therapy (ART) naive HIV infected long term non-progressors and patients with advanced disease to evaluate antibodies in each cohort. It will also include a SARS-CoV-2 cohort which will include vaccinated and unvaccinated Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive patients to characterise these antibodies and potential upscale use in current therapies. The evaluation will be done by conducting binding assays to assess which patients have high binding affinity to the various strains of disease and thereafter neutralisation assays will be done against variants of concern and against disease-resistant strains. Lastly this research will map the target epitopes of antibodies that have shown great binding affinity and broad neutralisation ability against HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2.

SANTHE is an Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) flagship programme funded by the Science for Africa Foundation through the DELTAS Africa programme; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gilead Sciences Inc.; and the Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard.