- Keywords:B725-diagnostics, B510-infections, B680-epidemiology
- Users of research expertise:
Since her graduation as a biomedical scientist in 2002, Miriam Eddyani works in the Mycobacteriology Unit of the Institute of Tropical Medicine where she leads the research on Mycobacterium ulcerans, the causative agent of the neglected tropical skin disease Buruli ulcer. In 2009 she defended her PhD on the diagnosis of Buruli ulcer and the environmental reservoir of Mycobacterium ulcerans at the University of Antwerp. She has gained a very broad experience in several aspects of Buruli ulcer: diagnosis (molecular, in vitro cultivation, quality assurance), molecular and conventional epidemiology and environmental reservoir resulting in numerous publications.
Currently, she mainly works on the following studies:
1) She is leading a diagnostic trial on the accuracy of the clinical and microbiological diagnosis of Buruli ulcer and on its differential diagnoses. This is important in the current context of a declining Buruli ulcer incidence probably followed by a waning clinical experience. In the bacteriological section of the project she studies the microbiome of Buruli ulcer lesions using next-generation sequencing.
2) A second component of her current research is the molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium ulcerans in a river basin in southern Benin. Hundreds of clinical isolates from the past two decades have their entire genomes sequenced followed by phylogenetic and spatiotemporal analyses hoping to better understand the transmission of Buruli ulcer. A substudy evaluates how the Buruli ulcer surveillance in Benin has contributed to the declining incidence.
Moreover, Miriam Eddyani organizes every two years an international external quality assurance programme of PCR for the diagnosis of Buruli ulcer for the World Health Organisation.
Each year she supervises several Belgian and international BSc and MSc students from diverse disciplines.
Obviously she has many responsibilities in the field of project management and financing her research. Despite the limited availability of funds for Buruli ulcer, she managed to secure funds via the Flemish fund for scientific research (FWO), UBS Optimus Foundation (Switzerland), Medicor Foundation (Liechtenstein), the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI, Flemish government) and the Directorate General for Development (Belgian government).