Project- Using new genomic approaches to investigate causes of maternal sepsis among women delivering in sub-Saharan Africa
Nakimuli is using new genomic approaches to identify pathogens that cause fever (sepsis) among pregnant women. Sepsis is one of the major causes of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality globally, responsible for over 15% of maternal and neonatal deaths. In order to prevent deaths due to sepsis there is need to have a clear causal diagnosis and effective therapeutic interventions, but this is frequently absent especially in low and middle income countries. This is a comparative cross-sectional study of women who with fever at the time of delivery versus those without fever, who present at Kawempe National Referral Hospital. At enrolment in the study, sociodemographic information, clinical data and appropriate samples (blood, swabs, placenta and urine) will be collected for microbiological characterization including routine laboratory tests and deep genomic analyses (q-PCR and single cell RNA-sequencing) to capture which pathogens are present. This work will be done in collaboration with other scientists in Uganda and others at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom. This study is expected to provide a detailed analysis of the causes of fever at delivery and lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.