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UNN Alumnus Breaks New Grounds in Chlamydia Research

UNN Alumnus Breaks New Grounds in Chlamydia Research

An alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Chief, Molecular Pathogenesis Laboratories, National Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC, Atlanta, USA, Prof Joseph Igietseme, has made new discoveries in Chlamydia infections and ways to administer its vaccines for effective cure.

Delivering a public lecture on “Milestones in Chlamydia Research: Immunobiology, Pathogenesis and Vaccine”, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka , recently, Prof Igietseme said that Chlamydia  is the major cause of  infertility, preventable blindness and ectopic pregnancy, which  he said were highly prevalent in Nigeria and other under developed  countries.

The American based professor explained that Chlamydia-induced infertility was mediated partly through activation of caspases that cause Dicer cleavage and dysfunction, which leads to the abnormality of fallopian tube and consequently results to infertility.

According to him, the activation of caspases cause the death of intestinal cells, deplete adrenergic receptors and limit availability of critical miRNAs that played key regulatory role in cell proliferation, differentiation and growth, which he said were vital in early development of embryo.

Prof Igietseme maintained that vaccination against Chlamydia infections involved immune correlated protection, including cell-mediated immunity (CMI), which must be local and systematically induce cytokines, as well as provide accessory antibody response required for rapid and robust memory response to reinfections.

The professor recommended that the platform of recombinant Vibrio cholerae ghost (rVCG), live attenuated influenza virus and genetically-engineered dendritic cells, could be used as vectors in the delivery of anti-Chlamydia vaccines.

Meanwhile, Professor Igietseme attributed his success in the field of research to the sound academic background he acquired during his undergraduate studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Earlier, in a courtesy visit to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Igietseme commended the Vice-Chancellor on his giant strides in the development of infrastructure in the University, and remarked that he heard the good works of the Vice-Chancellor in a programme he attended at the National Universities Commission.
In his response, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo, thanked Prof Igietseme for coming to deliver the public lecture, and said that the lecture was important because of the un-going restructuring of UNN Biotechnology Centre.

Prof. Okolo added that 15 distinguished microbiologist across the world would visit UNN by February 2013 to synthesize ideas on how to develop the Biotechnology Institute, which he said was carting the course of Regional African Biotechnology.

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