Botswana-UPenn Partnership

Joseph Jarvis, MBBS, PhD

Joe Jarvis was awarded a Wellcome Trust training fellowship in 2007 to investigate novel treatment and prevention strategies for HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis in South Africa at the University of Cape Town and the US National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Centre, leading to a PhD (2012). My key achievements during the fellowship included highlighting the cryptococcal meningitis disease burden in southern Africa (Jarvis AIDS. 2009;23(9):1182-1183), development and implementation of cryptococcal antigen screening as a novel prevention strategy (Jarvis CID 2009; 48(7):856-62), development and evaluation of a novel point-of-care diagnostic test for cryptococcosis (Jarvis CID 2011; 53(10):1019-23), defining optimal treatment regimens for cryptococcal meningitis (Jarvis AIDS 2012; 26(9):1105-1113), and describing the host-immune response to cryptococcal infection (Jarvis JID 2013; 207(12):1817-28).

Subsequent to the fellowship, Joe’s research continues to focus on HIV-related opportunistic infections in sub-Saharan Africa. He has published the largest-ever cohort study (over 500 patients) examining factors associated with mortality in cryptococcal meningitis (Jarvis CID 2014;58(5):736-45), and first-authored publications examining the immune phenotype in HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis patients, and its relationship with mortality and IRIS (Jarvis PLoS Pathogens 2015;11(4):e1004754, and Jarvis CID 2014;59(4):493-500).

Joe joined the Botswana-UPenn Partnership in February 2014, where he has continued his clinical trials work aimed at improving meningitis outcomes in African settings. He also is examining the utility of novel diagnostics to improve outcomes in HIV-associated meningitis patients (funded by two NIH pilot awards; one investigating the utility of cryptococcal antigen screening as a strategy to reduce cryptococcal-related mortality in African ART programmes; the second developing novel point-of-care PCR based diagnostics for meningitis), and has performed a 15-year nationwide retrospective study (The Botswana National Meningitis Survey) determining incidence and aetiology of meningitis in Botswana, and the impact of the HIV-epidemic and ART roll-out.