Professor

Our laboratory uses field-based, cellular and molecular approaches to further an understanding of the immunobiology of schistosomiasis in people. We focus on immunoregulation, resistance to reinfection and how having schistosomiasis impacts immune responses to unrelated immunizations.  These studies go on entirely in western Kenya, with our collaborators there, headed by Dr. Diana Karanja at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Kisumu, Kenya.

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic worm infection that people acquire by going into fresh water that contains schistosome-infected snails, the intermediate host. Globally, over 250 million people are infected with this intravascular worm. About 5%-10% of those infected may progress to suffer severe, life-threatening disease, while most of those infected experience more subtle morbidity, such as cognitive and physiologic deficits due to their schistosomiasis. It is a major public health threat in endemic areas of the world. Adult schistosome male and female worms live inside the blood vessels of people infected for several years, producing fertilized eggs that carry out the life cycle of the worm when they get into fresh water through excreta and the next stage of the life cycle infects species of fresh water or amphibious snails.

Our research seeks to understand the roles of the immune system in the regulation and resistance observed during this chronic disease, and how schistosomiasis impacts other immune responses. Our human studies of Schistosoma mansoni infections have been done in the past through extensive collaborations in the West Indies, Brazil, and Egypt. For the last 20 years these studies have been done in western Kenya, as indicated above.

In addition to my own immunologic research described above, I am the Director of the Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE: http://score.uga.edu , a major program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to pursue operational research focused on practical efforts to control and eliminate schistosomiasis. SCORE studies are being done in more than 8 African countries, primarily through North-South partnerships funded through subawards from the UGA Research Foundation.

Education:

Undergrad: Centre College of Kentucky, BA 1964

Graduate work: Tulane University, PhD 1968

Postdoctoral: Yale University, 1968-1970

Research Interests:

My laboratory has focused on field-based, cellular and molecular approaches to further an understanding of the immunobiology of the worm infection schistosomiasis in people. Our main focus has been on immunoregulation, resistance to reinfection and how having schistosomiasis impacts immune responses to unrelated immunizations.  These studies have gone on in St. Lucia, Brazil and Egypt, and over the last 24 years in western Kenya, with our collaborators there, headed by Dr. Diana Karanja at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Kisumu, Kenya, and they will be coming to an end in 2018.

 

Schistosomiasis is a parasitic worm infection that people acquire by going into fresh water that contains schistosome-infected snails, the intermediate host. At least 250 million people are infected with this intravascular worm. About 5%-10% of those infected may progress to suffer severe, life-threatening disease, while most experience more subtle morbidity, such as anemia, and cognitive and physiologic deficits. It is a major public health threat in endemic areas of the world. Adult schistosome male and female worms live for years in the blood vessels of infected people, producing fertilized eggs that carry out the life cycle of the worm when they get into fresh water through excreta and infect specific species of fresh water or amphibious snails.

 

Currently, I am the Director of the Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) (http://score.uga.edu), a major program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to pursue operational research focused on practical efforts to control and eliminate schistosomiasis. SCORE studies are being done in more than 9 African countries, primarily through multiple North-South partnerships funded through subawards from the UGA Research Foundation. The purpose of SCORE research is to provide the World Health Organization and national neglected tropical disease Program Managers with data and tools that will allow the development of better guidelines and decision-making for the control and elimination of schistosomiasis.

Labs:
Labs (via personnel):
Selected Publications:

Riner, DK, Ndombi, EM, Carter, JM, Omondi, A, Kittur, N, Kavere, E, Korir, HK Flaherty, B, Karanja, D, Colley, DG. Schistosoma mansoni infection can jeopardize the duration of protective levels of antibody responses to immunizations against hepatitis B and tetanus toxoid.  PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016, 10(12): e0005180. 2016. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0005180

 

Ortu, G, Ndayishimiye, O, Clements, M, Kayugi, D, Campbell, CH, Jr., Lamine, MS, Zivieri, A, Magalhaes, RS, Binder, S, King, CH, Fenwick, A, Colley, DG, Jourdan, PM. Countrywide reassessment of Schistosoma mansoni infection in Burundi using a urine circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) rapid test: Informing the national control program. Amer J Trop Med Hyg, 96:664-673, 2017, doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.16-0671

 

Colley, DG, Andros, TS, Campbell, CH, Jr., Prevalence of schistosomiasis is more than previously seen, but how much more and what does it mean for public health goals, policies, strategies, guidelines, and intervention programs? Inf Dis Poverty, 6:63, DOI: 10.1186/s40249-017-0275-5.

 

Shen, Y, King, CH, Binder, S, Zhang, F, Whatlen, CC, Secore, WE, Mongomery, SP, Mwinzi, PNM, Olsen, A, Magnussen, P, Kinung’hi, S, Phillips, AE, Nala, R, Ferro, J, Aurelio, HO, Fleming, F, Garba, A, Hamidou, Amina, Fenwick, A, Campbell, Jr, C, Colley, DG. Protocol and baseline data for a multi-year cohort study of the effects of different mass drug treatment approaches on functional morbidities from schistosomiasis in four African countries. BMC Inf Dis, 2017. 17:652, DOI 10.1186/s12879-017-2738-5.

 

Kittur, N., Binder, S, Campbell, C, King, C, Kinung’hi, S, Olsen, A, Magnussen, P., Colley, DG. Defining persistent hotspots: Areas that fail to decrease meaningfully in prevalence after multiple years of mass drug administration with praziquantel for control of schistosomiasis. , Amer J Trop Med Hyg., 2017, 97:1810-1817, doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.17-0368.

 

King, CH, Cook, JA, Colley, DG. Historical perspective: Revisiting the St. Lucia Project, a multi-year comparison trial of schistosomiasis control strategies. PLoS Negl Trop Dis., 2018, 12(1): e0006223. doi.org/10,1371/journal.pntd.0006223.

 

Clements, MN, Corstjens, PLAM, Binder, S, Campbell, CH,Jr, de Dood, CJ, Fenwick, A, Harrison, W, Kayugi, D, King, CH, Kornelis, D, Ndayishimiye, O, Ortu, G, Lamine, MS, Zivieri, A, Colley, DG, van Dam, GJ. Latent class analysis to evaluate performance of point-of-care CCA for low-intensity Schistosoma mansoni infections in Burundi. Parasites & Vectors, 2018, 11:111-124, doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-2700-4. 

 

Colley, DG, Loker, ES. New Tools for Old Questions: How strictly human are “Human Schistosomes” – and does it matter? J Inf Dis., 2018, doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiy030.

 

Abudho, BO, Ndombi, EM, Guya, B, Carter, JM, Riner, DK, Kittur, N, Karanja, DMS, Secor, WE, Colley,          DG. Impact of four years of mass drug administration on prevalence and intensity of schistosomiasis among    primary and high school children in western Kenya: A repeated cross-sectional study.  Amer J Trop Med Hyg., 2018, doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.