Prof. Jaffu Chilongola

Main activities: 
Lecturing, research

Immunology & Molecular Biology

Focus of research: 
Infectious Diseases: malaria, bacterial diseases, neglected tropical diseases
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Research programmes: 


  • Afro ImmunoAssay
  • EACCR - Ongoing
  • BSU - Ongoing
  • MEPI
  • International Foundation of Science (IFS)
  • GAMEVAC project (Funded by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology-COSTECH)

Several gametocyte specific peptides have been investigated and reported to be immunogenic and some have been further explored as malaria transmission blocking vaccines. These include the Pfs25, Pfs28, Pfs48/45 and Pfs230. A major constraint to these peptides as transmission blocking candidate vaccines has either been their inability to elicit strong and sustained immune responses or the reactogenecity of the adjuvants used in their testing for example for Pfs230. Other potential gametocyte proteins have been reported such as the Pfg27, a 217 amino acid cytosolic peptide expressed at the onset of gametocytogenesis. Due to its small size (≈27 kDa) and abundance, this protein provides a promising target as a detection peptide for gametocytemia rapid diagnosis. Peptides developed from this protein were highly immunogenic after only two boosts. Also disruption mutagenesis showed this protein to have a critical role in gametocyte development. On the other hand, PfRH5 is a 63kDa protein expressed on the apical surface of P. falciparum parasite. Parasite binding to erythrocyte has been reported to be inhibited by anti-PfRH5 antibodies thus indicating the potential of PfRH5 as a candidate for blood stage vaccine. Through this project, Professor Jaffu Chilongola and his team are producing gametocyte-specific peptides for the purpose of testing their potential as future vaccines and targets for a diagnostic test. The team has produced the peptides and their currently undergoing various immuno-characterization tests. It is hoped that at the end of the project, full characterization of the peptides regarding their immunogenicity, specificity, and other properties will have been defined.



  • TransVir Project (Funded by the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology-ICGEB)

We are conducting comprehensive seasonal cross sectional surveys to identify potential reservoirs of RVFV, DENV and CHIKV across the different seasons of the year. To achieve this, we will determine viral infection rates in selected ruminants, humans and Aedes mosquitoes across seasons. We will also determine recent/previous exposure to RVFV, DENV and CHIKV in ruminants (goats and sheep) and humans. Linked to infection and exposure data will be meteorological data and vector abundance as potentially important factors that affect arbovirus transmission dynamics. The mosquito surveillance investigations will be spatially and temporally linked to serological (exposure) and molecular (infection) surveillance work (in humans, domestic livestock and vector  mosquitoes).  This plan of surveillance is envisaged to provide a comprehensive evaluation  of  arboviruses prevalence, host persistence and seasonal transmission dynamics. Collection of this type of data using repeated cross sectional surveys across seasons, and associating such data with weather information will provide useful clues of transmission dynamics of the studied arboviruses with regards to their seasonal maintenance across the different hosts. By linking mosquito, animal and human viral infection rates to vector abundance, serological markers of exposure to infection and anomalous weather patterns, outbreaks can be predicted.   This will allow for development of prediction models for better outbreak prediction, identify hotspots for targeted control of arboviruses, and inform public and animal health authorities for better concerted control measures to limit the spread of arbovirus infections.




More Publications click here




j [dot] chilongola [at] kcri [dot] ac [dot] tz

jchilongola [at] kcmuco [dot] ac [dot] tz