Teaching expertise

HIV module - Update on Microbicides and Biomedical Prevention (Master in Public Health - Disease Control)

Research expertise

Dr. Vicky Jespers is a translational infectious disease researcher, educated in general medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology, tropical medicine, public health epidemiology and medicine, and with work experience in clinical trials, laboratory research, and product development. The focus of her research has been prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI), including GCP-compliant clinical trials of new prevention technologies, evaluation of novel rapid diagnostics, and research on the cervicovaginal microbiome and mucosal immunology. Her main areas of research: 1) role of the human microbiome in health and disease, with an emphasis on the role of the cervicovaginal microbiome in reproductive and neonatal health and disease; and 2) prevention of transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI), including evaluation of new prevention technologies.



http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25389548?dopt=Citation ; http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0105998 

Field projects

The RingPlus Project: Contraceptive vaginal ring study in Kigali enrolling 120 HIV-negative women to intermittent ring or continuous ring use. This project studies the safety of the ring, studies biofilm on the used ring with new fluorescence probes and evaluates acceptability using in-depth interview and focus group discussion methodologies. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4404010/; http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0136658 

EDCTP Biomarker: Vicky Jespers is the coordinating investigator of this multicentre descriptive cohort characterising the vaginal environment in Mombasa, Kigali and Johannesburg. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0109670; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26577657?dopt=Citation; http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2334/15/115; http://cvi.asm.org/content/22/5/526.long ; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4727807/

MMIS study is part of the CHAARM consortium: Combined Highly Active Antiretroviral Microbicides. This consortium aims to develop combined Microbicides and Vicky Jespers will assess safety Biomarkers in a European population. In the MMIS study the vaginal, rectal and oral microbiome is studied before and after sexual debut in adolescents in Antwerp.

The DAPIDAR study is a phase I study performed in Hull, UK testing the safety of a combination micobicide with dapivirine and darunvavir. The effect of the gel on the vaginal microbiota is studied at the ITM by Jespers and Crucitti. Similarly to an earlier trial with vaginal antibodies: Mabgel. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0116153

RHASA: a study in Tanzania looking at the vaginal microbiome of adolescent girls in Tanzania before and after sexual debut.

EUROPRISE: Consortium of Microbicide and vaccine researchers in Europe. Vicky Jespers is co-leader of a group working on translational clinical research.

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