The United States Army Medical Research Directorate Kenya (USAMRD-K) is another collaborative initiative between NIH and African medical research communities. USAMRU-K is located in Nairobi, Kenya on the campus of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and is one of five U.S. DoD overseas research laboratories. The USAMRU-K Kisumu Field Station is based in Kisumu, Kenya located in Nyanza Province along Lake Victoria. There are five clinic and research departments to include Clinical Trials, Basic Science, Malaria Diagnostics Center (MDC), Entomology/Vector Biology Unit, and Malaria Drug Resistance (MDR) Laboratory. The focus of this program is to develop drugs and vaccines for malaria and other tropical diseases.
Malaria Drug Resistance (MDR)
Malaria Drug Resistance (MDR) laboratory
The Malaria Drug Resistance (MDR) laboratory conducts comprehensive surveillance of antimalarial drug resistance throughout Kenya through in vitro susceptibility testing, in vivo efficacy studies, and genetic analysis of Plasmodium falciparum populations. MDR’s efforts provide invaluable epidemiological data, which directly supports the scientific objectives of KEMRI/USAMRD-K and its partners and provides timely information to the U.S. Department of Defense and Kenya Ministry of Health in order for these agencies to make informed malaria policy decisions. MDR is comprised of three sections, the in vitro parasite culture laboratory, in vivo efficacy laboratory, and the molecular genetics and bioinformatics laboratory, and has a staff of one uniformed service officer, one medical officer, one doctoral-level scientist, three master’s level scientists, five laboratory technicians, and four graduate students.
U.S. Department of Defense and Kenya Ministry of Health
Entomology Program/Vector Biology
Kisian KEMRI-campus in Kenya
The Entomology Program/Vector Biology Unit conducts research on the biology and ecology of vectors of medical and military important diseases with a focus on the development of integrated disease surveillance and management strategies. This department is based on the Kisian KEMRI-campus in western Kenya. Additionally, the Entomology program has six remote field collection sites located in Marigat, Kakamega, Busia, West Pokot, Garissa, Wajir, Isiolo, and Lamu. Future field collection sites will be established in Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Uganda. The goals of the Entomology program are to develop products, tools, and methods to mitigate risk and/or prevent vector-borne diseases.
U.S. Department of Defense, US Military Academy, USUHS Military Tropical Medicine, Kenya Ministry of Health
Malaria Diagnostics Centre (MDC)
Malaria Diagnostics Centre (MDC), a department of the KEMRI/USAMRD-K located in Kisumu, Kenya
Malaria Diagnostics Centre (MDC), a department of the KEMRI/USAMRD-K located in Kisumu, Kenya is the largest malaria diagnostic center in sub-Saharan Africa. The MDC was established in 2004 to conduct malaria diagnostic training. The center leads the global effort in training to improve malaria diagnostics capacity and quality at laboratories in Kenya, across Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, and the United States.
Malaria microscopy remains the gold standard for malaria diagnosis in clinical trials, new diagnostic methodology evaluation, and clinical care. Due to its location in a highly malaria-endemic region of Kenya, MDC has the advantage of having a continuous supply of samples for human malaria parasites through its Blood Collection Protocol (BCP). These samples are used for the preparation of blood films that are stored in its slide bank; these slides are used for training and testing laboratory technicians, developing and managing malaria quality assurance programs; they are also available to other institutions upon request. The samples collected are also used for testing of novel diagnostic devices and assays.
Malaria Clinical Trials Alliance (MCTA), European Developing Countries Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP), AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG), Sanofi Aventis, Kenya, Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, the United States, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Ghana.
Basic Science Lab
USAMRD-K Basic Science laboratory
Supports USAMRU-D’s broader mission of health security by:
Providing disease surveillance and assisting in outbreak investigations for infectious diseases of military and global health relevance
Supporting the development of diagnostic platforms for diseases of Africa and the world
Providing basic science support to vaccines and drug trials evaluations
Building capacity for young Kenyans in various areas including molecular biology and immunology
U.S. Government: US DOD GEIS – USAMRIID, MIDRP – US CDC
Kenya Government: Kenya Medical Research Institute, MOH, Department of Veterinary Services, Academia, International and NGO.
PATH: BioFire, SMEs, MBIO Diagnostic, Boulder CO, SIGHT Diagnostics, Israel
Muriithi-Wellde Clinical Research Center (CRC)
The Muriithi-Wellde Clinical Research Center (CRC), established in 2003, is located in Kombewa, approximately 40km from the Kisumu Field Station (USAMRD-K) Headquarters in Kondele in western Kenya. USAMRD-K has been operating in partnership for over 40 years with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), conducting research studies focused on malaria vaccines, anti-malarial drugs, supplements, and diagnostics. The CRC is involved in both medical research and clinical care. The clinical care includes PEPFAR, clinical care provided in conjunction with all medical research, Demographic Surveillance Survey (DSS) Mapping and capacity building throughout the district. The CRC has a catchment population of ~150,000-200,000K, with a presence in over 20 Ministry of Health (MOH) Health Centers.
Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), U.S. Department of Defense, Kenya Ministry of Health