Although traditionally regarded as a disease of livestock, fasciolosis is now recognised as an emerging zoonotic disease with around 24 million people infected globally. Central Vietnam, in particular, has emerged as a “hotspot” for human fasciolosis with the number of new cases more than doubling to 12,000 per annum according to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Ho Chi Minh City during 2018. Whilst this transmission is likely to be associated with animal fasciolosis, which is endemic throughout Southeast Asia, precise numbers of infections are not available due to the lack of rapid diagnostic tools. In this project we will build on our current GCRF-funded pilot study in which a Fasciola ELISA is being used to survey the spread of human and animal fasciolosis in central Vietnam. We will take a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the biological, social and epidemiological reasons for this spike in infection levels. Additionally, we will use molecular techniques to confirm the species of Fasciola that is responsible for human infection in the region as this has yet to be resolved.
Specific skills/experience required by applicants:
No specific skills required as training will be provided though students with an interest and human/animal health would be encouraged to apply.
UK and EU students are eligible to apply. Information on eligibility criteria is available from DfE: View Website
International applicants are welcome to apply, as additional funding may become available to cover fees at the higher rate.