Coronavirus: UoN researchers join global search for vaccine

Coronavirus structure.

Researchers from the University of Nairobi (UoN) have joined the world in search for a coronavirus (covid-19) vaccine as countries grapple with the pandemic.

The disease has so far killed more than 14,500 people globally with 340,066 confirmed cases in 192 countries and territories.

The UoN team is spearheaded by Prof. Omu Anzala from the KAVI Institute of Clinical Research (KAVI-ICR) based at the College of Health Sciences.

The team is studying how the virus is responding to treatment and will identify candidates for the vaccine trials in a bid to stop the pandemic.

UoN management, led by Council Chair, Prof. Julia Ojiambo and Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama committed to support the team in the research saying Kenyans are looking at institutions of higher learning and research to help end the coronavirus pandemic.

Prof. Anzala said their research will seek to answer the question of when one is declared free of the virus and this will involve collecting samples of urine, stool and blood from patients who have fully recovered from the virus in order to establish at what point they stop spreading it.

On the other hand, Dr. Moses Masika, who is also part of the team, said the infrastructure for testing the virus had been set and they are now in the process of getting reagents and working out different procedures.

Other members of the team are Dr. Loice Achieng’ Ombajo, and Dr. Marybeth Maritim.

KAVI-ICR has carried out more than 15 vaccine clinical trials and researches since its inception in 1998.

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