Prof Nigel Cunliffe BSc (Hons) MBChB PhD MRCP FRCPath FRCPCH DTM&H

Professor Clinical Infection, Microbiology and Immunology


    Rotavirus Gastroenteritis

    My major research interest is diarrhoeal disease in children, particularly that caused by rotavirus (the most important cause of severe diarrhoea in children worldwide). Through support from the Wellcome Trust, the World Health Organization, the Program in Appropriate Technology for Health, and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, I have since 1996 conducted observational and interventional studies of rotavirus gastroenteritis in children in Blantyre, Malawi. Our work has underpinned the introduction of rotavirus vaccine into Malawi's childhood immunisation schedule. Recent work has demonstrated the clinical impact and cost effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination in reducing the burden of severe rotavirus disease in Malawi. Current work is investigating host and pathogen factors that may contribute to rotavirus vaccine underperformance in Malawi compared with more developed settings such as the United Kingdom. In addition to work in Malawi, I am evaluating the impact of the UK introduction of rotavirus vaccine through examination of a range of gastrointestinal healthcare outcomes in Merseyside, UK.

    Research Grants
    • Optimal use of antibiotics in facility based case management of diarrhea
    • Model-guided assessment of rotavirus vaccine Impact in developing countries.
    • Impact of rotavirus vaccination on winter /spring pressures at a large paediatric hospital in the UK: an ecological study.
    • New Childhood vaccines for Malawi: Impact of a national pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccine roll-out on disease burden, epidemiology, and circulating strains.
    • Impact of maternally derived antibodies and infant microbiota on the immunogenicity of rotavirus vaccines in African, Indian and European infants.
    • Disease Burden of Norovirus in Children in Urban and Rural Malawi.
    • Estimating the economic burden of acute gastroenteritis in Malawian children
    • Predictors of rotavirus vaccine virus replication, immune response and clinical protection following oral rotavirus vaccination in Malawian children.
    • Impact of national rotavirus vaccination on diarrhoea deaths among infants in rural Malawi
    • Effect of exposure to rotavirus vaccine on household rotavirus transmission in a semi-urban Malawian population.
    • Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment of Influenza and Other Respiratory Infections in a Malaria-Endemic Area of Malawi with High HIV Prevalence.
    Research Collaborations

    Professor Osamu Nakagomi

    Project: Molecular epidemiology of rotaviruses
    External: Nagasaki University

    Characterisation of rotaviruses in Malawi and Nepal

    Dr Tom Snelling

    Project: Rotavirus
    External: Telethon Kids Institute, Western Australia

    Rotavirus vaccine scheduling

    Dr Umesh Parashar

    Project: Rotavirus gastroenteritis in Malawi
    External: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Assessment of rotavirus vaccine roll-out in Malawi

    Professor Gagandeep Kang

    Project: Rotavirus
    External: Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

    Understanding rotavirus vaccine performance in multiple settings

    Dr Virginia Pitzer

    Project: Modelling rotavirus vaccine impact in developing countries
    External: Yale University, USA

    NIH-funded study of rotavirus vaccine impact

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