Gordon Awandare

Gordon Awandare
University of Ghana | Legon · West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology

MPhil Biochemistry, PhD Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Director of WACCBIP - Leading research and capacity building for African-led research and innovation

About

272
Publications
41,253
Reads
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2,490
Citations
Citations since 2016
225 Research Items
1986 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
Introduction
Gordon Awandare currently works at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), Department of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Ghana. Gordon does research in Parasitology and Microbiology. Their current project is 'Plasmodium falciparum mechanisms for erythrocyte invasion.' He is also the director of WACCBIP, which is a capacity-building initiative that provides training for African scientists at Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral levels.
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, University of Ghana
Position
  • Managing Director
January 2014 - present
University of Ghana
Position
  • Managing Director
September 2007 - June 2010
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (272)
Article
Full-text available
Asexual blood-stage malaria parasites must produce sexual progeny to infect mosquitoes. It is important to understand the scope and causes of intraspecific variation in sexual commitment rates, particularly for the major human parasite P. falciparum. First, two alternative assay methods of measuring sexual commitment were compared to test a genetic...
Article
Official COVID-19 case counts and mortality rates across Africa are lower than had been anticipated. Research reports, however, indicate far higher exposure rates than the official counts in some countries. Particularly in Western and Central Africa, where mortality rates are disproportionately lower than the rest of the continent, this occurrence...
Article
Full-text available
Background Childhood hearing impairment (HI) is genetically heterogeneous with many implicated genes, however, only a few of these genes are reported in African populations. Methods This study used exome and Sanger sequencing to resolve the possible genetic cause of non-syndromic HI in a Ghanaian family. Results We identified a novel variant c.30...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Over 90% of severe malaria (SM) cases occur in African children. Parenteral artesunate is currently the recommended treatment for SM. Studies of parasite clearance in paediatric SM cases are needed for assessment of therapeutic outcomes but are lacking in Africa. Methods: Severe malaria patients were recruited in the children's emerg...
Article
Full-text available
Background: West Africa has recorded a relatively higher proportion of asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases than the rest of the world, and West Africa-specific host factors could play a role in this discrepancy. Here, we assessed the association between COVID-19 severity among Ghanaians with their immune profiles and ABO blood g...
Article
Full-text available
Background Erythrocyte invasion by P. falciparum involves functionally overlapping interactions between the parasite’s ligands and the erythrocyte surface receptors. While some P. falciparum isolates necessarily engage the sialic acid (SA) moieties of the erythrocytes during the invasion, others use ligands whose binding is independent of SA for su...
Preprint
Full-text available
Experimental studies on the biology of malaria parasites have been mostly based on laboratory-adapted lines, but there is limited understanding of how these may differ from parasites in natural infections. Loss-of-function mutants have previously been shown to emerge during culture of some Plasmodium falciparum clinical isolates, in analyses that f...
Article
Full-text available
Ex vivo phenotyping of P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion diversity is important in the identification and down selection of potential malaria vaccine targets. However, due to the lack of appropriate laboratory facilities in remote areas of endemic countries, direct processing of P. falciparum clinical isolates is usually not feasible. Here, we inv...
Article
Objective: To examine the association between animal contact (primarily dogs and cats) and non-malarial fever, as well as with secondary symptoms of headache, nausea, vomiting, and cough, in 687 children in Greater Accra Region, Ghana.Design: Cross-sectional study of acute febrile illness among children aged 1-15 years old between October 2016 and...
Article
Full-text available
These findings contribute to understanding malaria parasite antigenic and developmental variation, focusing on the merozoite surface protein encoded by the single locus under strongest balancing selection. Analyzing the initial ex vivo generation of parasites grown from a wide sample of clinical infections, we show a unique and highly skewed patter...
Article
Full-text available
The absence of reliable species-specific diagnostic tools for malaria at point-of-care (POC) remains a major setback towards effective disease management. This is partly due to the limited sensitivity and specificity of the current malaria POC diagnostics especially in cases of low-density parasitaemia and mixed species infections. In this study, w...
Article
Full-text available
We have previously reported CLIC5A and SLC12A2 variants in two families from Cameroon and Ghana, segregating non-syndromic hearing impairment (NSHI). In this study, biological assays were performed to further functionally investigate the pathogenicity of CLIC5 [c.224T>C; p.(L75P)] and SCL12A2 [c.2935G>A: p.(E979K)] variants. Ectopic expression of t...
Article
Full-text available
Type 1 interferons (IFN-1) are pleiotropic cytokines with well-established anticancer and antiviral properties, particularly in mucosal tissues. Hence, natural IFN-1-inducing treatments are highly sought after in the clinic. Here, we report for the first time that cryptolepine, a pharmacoactive alkaloid in the medicinal plant Cryptolepis sanguinole...
Article
Full-text available
Recombination is an evolutionary process by which many pathogens generate diversity and acquire novel functions. Although a common occurrence during coronavirus replication, detection of recombination is only feasible when genetically distinct viruses contemporaneously infect the same host. Here, we identify an instance of SARS-CoV-2 superinfection...
Article
Full-text available
Bacillus stearothermophilus large fragment (BST LF ) DNA polymerase is reported, isolated on silica via a fused R5 silica-affinity peptide and used in nucleic acid diagnostics. mCherry (mCh), included in the fusion construct, was shown as an efficient fluorescent label to follow the workflow from gene to diagnostic. The R5 immobilisation on silica...
Article
Increasing urbanization in Ghana has led to a waste management crisis with multiple public health consequences. The contextualized mapping of what is dumped, where and why might provide vital on-the-ground support to address the problem itself, as well as the spillover disease impacts. One of the biggest challenges, however, are the required spatia...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the fastest evolving pandemics in recent history. As such, the SARS-CoV-2 viral evolution needs to be continuously tracked. This study sequenced 1123 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patient isolates (121 from arriving travellers and 1002 from communities) to track the molecular evolution and spatio-temporal dynamics of the S...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated hearing impairment (HI) in 51 families from Ghana with at least two affected members that were negative for GJB2 pathogenic variants. DNA samples from 184 family members underwent whole-exome sequencing (WES). Variants were found in 14 known non-syndromic HI (NSHI) genes [26/51 (51.0%) families], five genes that can underlie either...
Preprint
Full-text available
Investment in Africa over the past year with regards to SARS-CoV-2 genotyping has led to a massive increase in the number of sequences, exceeding 100,000 genomes generated to track the pandemic on the continent. Our results show an increase in the number of African countries able to sequence within their own borders, coupled with a decrease in sequ...
Article
Full-text available
Hearing impairment (HI) is highly heterogeneous with over 123 associated genes reported to date, mostly from studies among Europeans and Asians. Here, we performed a systematic review of literature on the genetic profile of HI in Africa. The study protocol was registered on PROSPERO, International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews with the...
Article
Full-text available
Gap junction protein beta 2 (GJB2) (connexin 26) variants are commonly implicated in non-syndromic hearing impairment (NSHI). In Ghana, the GJB2 variant p.(Arg143Trp) is the largest contributor to NSHI and has a reported prevalence of 25.9% in affected multiplex families. To date, in the African continent, GJB2-p.(Arg143Trp) has only been reported...
Preprint
Full-text available
The merozoite surface protein MSPDBL2 of Plasmodium falciparum is under strong balancing selection and is a target of naturally acquired antibodies. Remarkably, MSPDBL2 is expressed in only a minority of mature schizonts of any cultured parasite line, and mspdbl2 gene transcription increases in response to overexpression of the gametocyte developme...
Preprint
Full-text available
Asexual blood stage malaria parasites must produce sexual progeny in order to infect mosquitoes. It is therefore important to understand the scope of variation in sexual commitment rates of the most important human parasite Plasmodium falciparum , and to assess responses to conditions that may affect this commitment. First, using a genetically modi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recombination is an evolutionary process by which many pathogens generate diversity and acquire novel functions. Although a common occurrence during coronavirus replication, recombination can only be detected when two genetically distinct viruses contemporaneously infect the same host. Here, we identify an instance of SARS-CoV-2 superinfection, whe...
Article
Full-text available
Official COVID-19 case counts and mortality rates across Africa are lower than had been anticipated. Research reports, however, indicate far higher exposure rates than the official counts in some countries. Particularly in Western and Central Africa, where mortality rates are disproportionately lower than the rest of the continent, this occurrence...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study sequenced 1077 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patient isolates (106 from arriving travellers and 971 from communities) to track the molecular evolution and spatio-temporal dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 variants in Ghana. The data show that initial local transmission was dominated by B.1.1 lineages, but the second wave in Ghana was overwhelmingly d...
Article
Full-text available
Countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region have experienced a wide range of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemics. This study aimed to identify predictors of the timing of the first COVID-19 case and the per capita mortality in WHO African Region countries during the first and second pandemic waves and to test for assoc...
Article
Full-text available
Africa has defied predictions of being the worst hit by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, which has devastated Europe, the Americas, and some Asian countries. However, with a current second and third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic across other continents, p...
Article
Background: Controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is problematic because of transmission driven by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals. Community screening can help identify these individuals but is often too expensive for countries with limited health care resources. Low-cost ELISA assays may address this problem, but their use has not yet...
Article
Full-text available
The progression of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Africa has so far been heterogeneous and the full impact is not yet well understood. Here, we describe the genomic epidemiology using a dataset of 8746 genomes from 33 African countries and two overseas territories. We show that the epidemics in most countries were initiated by importations predomina...
Article
Full-text available
The progression of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Africa has so far been heterogeneous and the full impact is not yet well understood. Here, we describe the genomic epidemiology using a dataset of 8746 genomes from 33 African countries and two overseas territories. We show that the epidemics in most countries were initiated by importations predominantl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ex vivo phenotyping of P. falciparum erythrocyte invasion diversity is important in the identification and down selection of potential malaria vaccine targets. However, due to the lack of appropriate laboratory facilities in remote areas of endemic countries, direct processing of P. falciparum clinical isolates is usually not feasible. Here, we inv...
Article
The continuous use of interferons (IFNs) in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection leads to myriad adverse effects. Also, in sub-Saharan Africa where chronic HBV infection is endemic, pegylated IFN-α and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, which are first-line agents in the treatment of chronic HBV infection, are inaccessible due to the...
Article
Full-text available
Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale are increasingly gaining public health attention as the global transmission of falciparum malaria is decreasing. However, the absence of reliable Plasmodium species-specific detection tools has hampered accurate diagnosis of these “minor” Plasmodium species. In this study, SYBR Green-based real-time PCR assa...
Article
Full-text available
Variants in the Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene (G1-rs60910145, rs73885319, G2-rs71785313) are common in Africans and in individuals of recent African ancestry and are associated with an increased risk of non-diabetic chronic kidney disease (CKD) and in particular of HIV associated nephropathy (HIVAN). In light of the significantly increased risk of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Increasing urbanization in Ghana has led to a waste management crisis with multiple public health consequences. The contextualized mapping of what is dumped, where and why might provide vital on-the-ground support to address the problem itself, as well as the spillover disease impacts. One of the biggest challenges, however, are the req...
Article
Full-text available
MalariaGEN is a data-sharing network that enables groups around the world to work together on the genomic epidemiology of malaria. Here we describe a new release of curated genome variation data on 7,000 Plasmodium falciparum samples from MalariaGEN partner studies in 28 malaria-endemic countries. High-quality genotype calls on 3 million single nuc...
Article
Full-text available
Background : We set out to estimate the community-level exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Ghana. Methods : Phased seroprevalence studies of 2729 participants at selected locations across Ghana were conducted. Phase I (August 2020) sampled 1305 individuals at major markets/lorry stations, shopping malls, hos...
Article
Full-text available
Congenital hearing impairment (HI) is genetically heterogeneous making its genetic diagnosis challenging. Investigation of novel HI genes and variants will enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms and to aid genetic diagnosis. We performed exome sequencing and analysis using DNA samples from affected members of two large families from...
Article
Background : The High Schools Engagement Programme (HSEP), is a West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) public engagement initiative that targets students in under-resourced high schools in Ghana. Annual programmes are directed towards providing information on prospective careers in Science and discussing the causes o...
Article
Full-text available
Background Diverse signalling pathways are involved in carcinogenesis and one of such pathways implicated in many cancers is the interleukin 6/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (IL-6/STAT3) signalling pathway. Therefore, inhibition of this pathway is targeted as an anti-cancer intervention. This study aimed to establish the effect...
Article
Infectious diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the low income countries. Patients present with fever and non-specific symptoms, which are difficult to diagnose without specialist laboratory tests. This results in presumptive diagnosis and treatment, which may be incorrect. Without tools to identify infection, antibiotic admi...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: To evaluate Plasmodium malariae susceptibility to current and lead candidate antimalarial drugs. Methods: We conducted cross-sectional screening and detection of all Plasmodium species malaria cases, which were nested within a longitudinal prospective study, and an ex vivo assessment of efficacy of a panel of antimalarials against P....
Preprint
Full-text available
The progression of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Africa has so far been heterogeneous and the full impact is not yet well understood. Here, we describe the genomic epidemiology using a dataset of 8746 genomes from 33 African countries and two overseas territories. We show that the epidemics in most countries were initiated by importations, predominant...
Article
Full-text available
Breast cancer is the commonest cause of global cancer-related deaths in women and a public health burden in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Although the disease incidence in SSA seems lower, mortality rates are disproportionately high in comparison to high-income countries. The global disease burden is growing, with SSA reporting the majority of cases; h...
Preprint
Full-text available
To estimate the level of community exposure to SARS–CoV–2 in Ghana, we conducted phased seroprevalence studies of 2729 participants in selected locations across Ghana. Phase I screening (August 2020) covered a total of 1305 individuals screened at major markets/lorry stations, major shopping malls, hospitals and research institutions involved in CO...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Helicobacter pylori pathogenicity and disease severity are determined by the tyrosine phosphorylation motifs of CagA protein. This study is aimed at detecting the presence of H. pylori and identifying the CagA tyrosine phosphorylation motifs in Ghanaian patients. Material and Methods. A total of 94 archival genomic DNA samples from gas...
Article
Full-text available
Human erythrocytes are indispensable for Plasmodium falciparum development. Unlike other eukaryotic cells, there is no existing erythroid cell line capable of supporting long-term P. falciparum in vitro experiments. Consequently, invasion phenotyping experiments rely on erythrocytes of different individuals. However, the contribution of the erythro...
Article
Full-text available
Background Anti-malarial drug resistance remains a key concern for the global fight against malaria. In Ghana sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is used for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy and combined with amodiaquine for Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) during the high malaria season. Thus, surveillance of molecular ma...
Article
Full-text available
Sub-Saharan Africa is courting the risk of artemisinin resistance (ARTr) emerging in Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites. Current molecular surveillance efforts for ARTr have been built on the utility of P. falciparum kelch13 (pfk13) validated molecular markers. However, whether these molecular markers will serve the purpose of early detection...
Article
Full-text available
Background Renal dysfunctions are associated with increased morbidity and mortality in sickle cell disease (SCD). Early detection and subsequent management of SCD patients at risk for renal failure and dysfunctions are essential, however, predictors that can identify patients at risk of developing renal dysfunction are not fully understood. Method...
Article
Full-text available
MalariaGEN is a data-sharing network that enables groups around the world to work together on the genomic epidemiology of malaria. Here we describe a new release of curated genome variation data on 7,000 Plasmodium falciparum samples from MalariaGEN partner studies in 28 malaria-endemic countries. High-quality genotype calls on 3 million single nuc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background In Mali, the health facility-based prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Mali was 4.5% (105/2,343) and the age of first medical visit for autistic children was around 7 years old in 2018. Parental recognition of developmental abnormalities initiates the early autism detection and diagnosis. We aimed to assess the feasibility o...