ACEGID’s High Impact Achievements

Over the years, ACEGID’s research activities and partnerships have resulted in numerous achievements, with impacts and imprints across the entire spectrum of surveillance, diagnostics, preparedness and response to infectious diseases in Nigeria, and the West African region.

Below are a few of our achievements:

  • Set up genome sequencing capacity in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal & Liberia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Seychelles
  • Trained over 1,200 local and regional scientists in genomics-based tools for infectious diseases diagnosis and surveillance, many of which are leading national pandemic responses in various African countries.
  • Confirmed the first case of Ebola in Nigeria within 48 hours. This singular feat led to early containment, management and control of the disease in Nigeria.
  • Pioneered real-time sequencing of Ebola virus during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa
  • Pioneered open genomics data access by releasing 99 Ebola whole virus genomes sequenced during the first three weeks of the outbreak in Sierra Leone.
  • Developed FDA and WHO-approved (under Emergency Use Authorization) Ebola virus rapid diagnostic tool (RDT) within 4 months of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa
  • Generated the world’s first diverse Lassa fever virus whole genome sequence catalogueWe generated a genomic catalogue of over 1,000 LASV sequences from clinical and rodent reservoir samples
  • Discovered two new Rhabdoviruses (EKV-1 and EKV-2) in Nigeria from a study aiming at characterizing known and unknown pathogens driving acute febrile illnesses in West Africa
  • Accelerated Lassa fever vaccine development
  • Supported Nigeria’s mpox outbreak response
  • Used real-time microbial metagenomics to uncover a new Yellow fever outbreak in Nigeria.  Thus, enabled a rapid and successful containment of the outbreak by Nigeria CDC.
  • Helped Nigeria’s response to Lassa Fever surge
  • Identified Lassa virus in multiple rodent sources
  • COVID-19 testing and genomic sequencing: Partnering with Africa CDC and Nigeria CDC for pandemic response.
  • Generated over 5,000 SARS-CoV-2 sequences and guided public health response in 10 African countries
  • Trained more than 120 scientists from over 40 African countries on Next Generation Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2. Thus, enhancing real-time surveillance across the continent. 
  • Performed the first SARS-Cov-2 whole genome sequence in Africa within 48 hours of receiving the sample from the Nigeria CDC.
  • Developed and piloted SHERLOCK diagnostic – a CRISPR-based 30 mins POC diagnostic for a wide-range of viruses (including Lassa fever virus and SARS-Cov-2) on a paper strip.
  • ACEGID was made a WHO and Africa CDC Specialized Regional Reference Sequencing Laboratory for Covid-19 and other emerging pathogens.
  • Developed a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which has successfully passed preclinical trials. Work is ongoing to secure funds for clinical trials of the vaccine on humans.
  • Responded to African Swine Fever outbreak in Nigeria
  • Pushed for a change in mpox virus names that stigmatizes Africans 
  • Built capacity for next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of mpox in Central and West African countries of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo Brazaville, Republic of Congo and Nigeria.