The IHC Group is a new group that emerged from GHTM’s created in 2013. Its main focus is to implement Clinical Research related to treatment and diagnostics of infections. The IHC team member includes researchers and physicians working on Tropical Diseases, Travelers’ health, Nutrition and Chronic Diseases in the tropics.
IHC group main objectives are:
1) Improve diagnostics and management of febrile illnesses in the tropics as well as travellers’ and vulnerable populations;
2) Develop innovative diagnostic and treatment approaches;
3) Improve management of chronic diseases in the tropics;
4) Study the impact of the microbiome in human health.
The achievement of these objectives will require interactions and collaborations with other researches, local Public Health Systems and Non-governmental Organizations, not only in Portugal but also in Brazil and Countries in Africa. Our Travel Medicine Clinic as well as the other GHTM groups (VBD, THOP and PPS) and will be key in this process. Some of the joint projects will include a development of a single step low cost diagnostic method for tuberculosis, the evaluation of genetic surrogate markers associated with miltefosine resistance and treatment outcome in Human and Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis and travelers’ information epidemiology.
Biological material from clinical cases will be stored at GHTM’s biobank which held already samples from previous studies. As part of the Clinical Trial component a Prospective Efficacy Trial of oral fexinidazole in T. rhodesiense Infected Patients in Malawi and Uganda, coordinated by DNDi was already approved by EDCTP. Implementation is expected to happen in October.
The establishment of GARD-CPLP by the Ministers of Health of the Portuguese-speaking countries (see http://gard-cplp.ihmt.unl.pt/index.html) will support Improve the management of chronic diseases in the tropics objective. Collaborations are also foreseen for training, availability of essential drugs and adoption of management guidelines. A project to establish a birth cohort study on the effect of respiratory and gut microbiome on pneumonia and metabolic disturbances in childhood and a implementation of a national biobank at the Bandim Health Project study area in Guinea-Bissau has already been funded by the Wellcome Trust.