Skip to main content
Hep C Phylogenies
Phylogenetic Tree of Hepatitis C in the DRC

At the request of the Congolese health authorities, Dr. Parr and Dr. Meshnick recently launched projects aimed at improving our understanding of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We are studying both the epidemiology and phylogenetics of HCV, with the hope of laying a foundation for HCV treatment in the region. The advent of highly effective antiviral therapies for HCV represents a sea change for this terrible disease, and we hope to translate our findings into improved care for all people suffering from HCV. We are collaborating with local HCV experts Dr. Stanley Lemon and Dr. Michael Fried. We are also collaborating with Dr. Jacques Pepin, an expert in using historical data to inform analyses of the spread of infectious diseases in subsaharan Africa, and Dr. Eric Frost, an expert in molecular diagnostics for HCV and other infections, at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, and with collaborators Abbott Diagnostics to develop improved HCV diagnostic testing approaches.

Hep C map
Map of Hepatitis C Prevalence and Genotypes in the DRC

In addition to studying the epidemiology of HBV in the DRC, we recently launched the AVERT-HBV (Arresting Vertical Transmission of HBV) study in Kinshasa Province, DRC. This study focuses on the implementation of best clinical practices to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HBV and will leverage existing laboratory and clinical infrastructure developed for HIV treatment. Along with UNC pediatric infectious diseases fellow Dr. Peyton Thompson, we are collaborating with local experts Dr. Ravi Jhaveri (pediatric hepatitis) and Dr. Rohit Ramawamy (implementation science), in addition to Dr. Marcel Yotebieng at Ohio State University and colleagues at Abbott, the Kinshasa School of Public Health, and the DRC National AIDS Control Program.

Hear Dr. Parr talk about IDEEL’s hepatitis research in the DRC, which was recently featured on the Well Said podcast:

Dr. Parr Podcast
IDEEL’s hepatitis research featured on the Well Said podcast