This project is part of the EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union

EDCTP TMA Grant Award

Award number: TMA2020CDF-3194

Grant Amount: 150,000 Euros

Title: Microbiome fuels Th17 mediated airway inflammation in COPD among HIV-infected individuals

Principal investigator: Alex Kayongo, MBChB, MSc, PhD fellow, MakCHS

The EDCTP2 Programme supported by the European Union has awarded Makerere University Lung Institute 150,000 Euros to investigate the role of airway microbiome in driving inflammation among people living with HIV, diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Uganda. COPD is a chronic respiratory illness characterized by progressive and irreversible decline in lung function associated with difficulty in breathing. It is increasing in prevalence among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) as widespread use of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has increased longevity in this population. Currently, it’s not fully known what drives chronic lung inflammation in PLWHA population despite being virologically suppressed on ART. There is need to explore factors driving chronic airway inflammation among PLWHA. Airway microbiome (a population of micro-organisms inhabiting the airway) has been shown to play a role in the development and severity of COPD. Preliminary findings from our recent study in a rural Uganda shows that HIV significantly impacts airway microbial populations, suggesting that such HIV-associated changes may be driving COPD in our cohort. Currently, we don’t know which bacterial communities drive this chronic airway inflammation. The proposed study focuses on actions that lead to improvements in the prevention, treatment and clinical management of co-infections and co-morbidities in SSA particularly COPD in HIV-infected individuals. This will reduce on the burden of COPD among this group and contribute to achieving the third sustainable development goal (SDG3).