Dr Wilber Sabiiti

Dr Wilber Sabiiti
Senior Research fellow in Medicine



Dr. Sabiit's story and interest in Infectious disease research begins with Makerere University, Uganda where he graduated as a Biochemistry major and immediately joined Dr. Lali Ferdinand’s laboratory to investigate the pathogenesis of Buruli ulcer disease. This work opened the new horizon of host – pathogen interaction and its importance in the disease process. To have a better understanding of this phenomenon he joined the Free University of Brussels, Belgium for Master of Science in Molecular biology with a focus on mechanisms of disease in humans.

Shortly after graduation he joined the University of Antwerp’s Medical microbiology laboratory where he evaluated commercially available molecular diagnostics for accurate detection of Methicillin resistant Staphlococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) and recommended he most accurate diagnostic for use in the Europe-wide clinical trials combating antimicrobial resistance within communities and Hospitals.

Building on this great experience he joined Prof. Robin C. May laboratory at University of Birmingham UK for doctoral research on mechanisms of brain infection in cryptococcosis followed by a postdoctoral stint at St. Georges University of London, investigating pathogenicity markers of poor clinical outcome in HIV-associated cryptococcal meningitis.

Joining Prof. Stephen Gillespie’s team at University of St. Andrews marked the shift to focusing on the fight against tuberculosis (TB). Dr. Sabiiti has since, coordinated several multi-national projects involving the UK and Africa and currently Principle Investigator of the EDCTP funded TWENDE project that is investigating ways to accelerate translation of health research innovations into policy and practice in East Africa. He has trained over 20 scientists and clinicians from Africa, UK, Europe and Asia in principles of Molecular bacterial load assay (MBLA), an assay that quantifies patient TB burden in as short as 4 hours and tell whether they are responding to anti-TB therapy. MBLA is undergoing commercialisation into a commercial kit and Dr. Sabiiti is working closely with Prof. Gillespie to make it a success.

data source: symbiosis

Research Overview from research@st-andrews

Recent publications listed in research@st-andrews
15  (of 15 published available) for ws31. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
Please click title of any item for full details

Heat-inactivation renders sputum safe and preserves Mycobacterium tuberculosis RNA for downstream molecular tests Wilber Sabiiti, Khalide Azam, Ezembro Esmeraldo, Nilesh Bhatt, Andrea Rachow, Stephen Henry Gillespie
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2019 vol.57 
Model-based relationship between the molecular bacterial load assay and time-to-positivity in liquid culture Robin J Svensson, Wilber Sabiiti, Gibson S Kibiki, Nyanda E Ntinginya, Nilesh Bhatt, Geraint Davies, Stephen Henry Gillespie, Ulrika S H Simonsson
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  vol.Early 
Molecular bacterial load assay (MBLA) concurs with culture on the NaOH-induced Mycobacterium tuberculosis loss of viability Wilber Sabiiti, Issa Sabi, Joseph John, Emanuel Sichone, Nyanda E. Ntinginya, Stephen Henry Gillespie
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2019 vol.57 
OMNIgene.SPUTUM suppresses contaminants whilst maintaining Mycobacterium tuberculosis viability and obviates cold-chain transport Khalide Azam, Nureisha Cadir, Carla Madeira, Stephen Henry Gillespie, Wilber Sabiiti
ERJ Open Research 2018 vol.4 
Beyond the numbers Wilber Sabiiti,
East African Health Research Journal 2017 vol.1 
Fighting antimicrobial resistance Wilber Sabiiti
Journal of Infectious Diseases & Travel Medicine 2017 vol.1 
Mycobacterial load assay Stephen Henry Gillespie, Wilber Sabiiti, Katarina Oravcova
 2017 pp.89-105
Optimising molecular diagnostic capacity for effective control of tuberculosis in high-burden settings Wilber Sabiiti, Bariki Mtafya, Davis Kuchaka, Khalide Azam, Sofia Vegas, Aaron Mdolo, Margaret Khonga, Dimitrios Evangelopoulos, Isobella Honeyborne, Andrea Rachow, Norbert Heinrich, Nyanda Elias Ntinginya, Nilesh Bhatt, Gerry R Davies, Ilesh V Jani, Timothy D McHugh, Gibson Kibiki, Michael Hoelscher, Stephen Henry Gillespie,
International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2016 vol.20 pp.1004-1009
Genotypic diversity is associated with clinical outcome and phenotype in cryptococcal meningitis across Southern Africa Mathew A Beale, Wilber Sabiiti, Emma J Robertson, Karen M Fuentes-Cabrejo, Simon J O'Hanlon, Joseph N Jarvis, Angela Loyse, Graeme Meintjes, Thomas S Harrison, Robin C May, Matthew C Fisher, Tihana Bicanic
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2015 vol.9 
Efficient phagocytosis and laccase activity affect the outcome of HIV-associated cryptococcosis Wilber Sabiiti, Emma Robertson, Mathew A Beale, Simon A Johnston, Annemarie E Brouwer, Angela Loyse, Joseph N Jarvis, Andrew S Gilbert, Matthew C Fisher, Thomas S Harrison, Robin C May, Tihana Bicanic
The Journal of Clinical Investigation 2014 vol.124 pp.2000-8
Experimental models of cryptococcosis Wilber Sabiiti, Robin C May, E Rhiannon Pursall
International Journal of Microbiology 2012 vol.2012 
Mechanisms of infection by the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans Wilber Sabiiti, Robin C May
Future Microbiology 2012 vol.7 pp.1297-313
Evaluation of chromogenic media for detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Surbhi Malhotra-Kumar, José Cortinas Abrahantes, Wilber Sabiiti, Christine Lammens, Greetje Vercauteren, Margareta Ieven, Geert Molenberghs, Marc Aerts, Herman Goossens,
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2010 vol.48 pp.1040-6