Location: Basel - North West Switzerland
Affiliation: University of Basel
The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), former Swiss Tropical Institute (STI), has been founded in 1943. It has research and teaching activities in the arear of international health development. In June 2009 the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine of the University of Basel, active in the areas of environmental epidemiology and women’s health, was integrated into the Swiss TPH.
Today over 500 employees from 40 nations work worldwide for the Swiss TPH in research, teaching and services with the main goal to contribute to health development worldwide.
As an associate institute of the University of Basel, the Swiss TPH takes part in teaching within various faculties, as well as is engaged in post-graduate education and advanced training on national and international levels.
The Swiss TPH receives 81% of its income through competitive fundraising and the earnings of our service departments. The remaining budget is given by the Basel cantons and the Swiss federal government.
The number of legionellosis cases in Switzerland has increased five-fold over the past 20 years. A study by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) published today in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health analysed case numbers from 2000 to 2020 and determined the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on reporting. The researchers also found that the summer peaks of legionellosis have become more pronounced in recent years. Switzerland has one of the highest legionellosis incidence in Europe.
There is very limited data on the incidence and prevalence of noma, which hinders better management and treatment of this devastating disease that mainly affects young and malnourished children in very poor communities. With a rigorous systematic literature review on the distribution of noma, Swiss TPH researchers contribute to a better understanding of the epidemiology of the disease and lay the groundwork for systematic control interventions.
Insecticide resistant mosquitoes are a growing concern in malaria control. A study conducted by Swiss TPH and partners raises hope that multi-resistant malaria vectors remain largely susceptible to the insecticide malathion. By studying field mosquito populations in Côte d'Ivoire, the authors found that genes which cause resistance to the widely used pyrethroid insecticides likely increase susceptibility to malathion. This phenomenon could be exploited as a targeted tool for malaria control. The findings were published yesterday in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Genetics.
People living in high altitudes are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a key indicator of cardiovascular health. A study published today in PLOS One investigated the association between the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and the use of improved cook stoves in the rural Andes in Peru. While the use of these stoves was not found to be related to better metabolic health, body mass index (BMI) and altitude appear to be strong determinants of metabolic syndrome.
The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) recently moved into its new headquarters in the Bachgraben area in Allschwil, canton Basel-Landschaft. The Swiss TPH Travel Clinic will remain in Basel-Stadt, but will temporarily move into the building next door at Socinstrasse 55. The villa "Zur Föhre" at Socinstrasse 57 will be renovated over the next couple of years.
On Friday, 1 April 2022, the new headquarters of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) officially opened in the BaseLink site, an emerging life science cluster in Allschwil. Around 700 employees and students will now work, research and study in the new building designed by Basel architects Kunz und Mösch. More than 300 guests attended today's inauguration from the areas of politics, business and science, as well as from the local neighbourhood in Allschwil.
Almost a quarter of the world's population is at risk of helminth infections and available treatment options are limited. Therefore, a better understanding of why anti-parasitic drugs fail in certain cases is crucial. A new study by Swiss TPH sheds light on how gut bacteria affect treatment outcomes against parasitic worms. The findings were published today Communications.
The need for effective COVID-19 treatments remains particularly acute, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where access to vaccines is still extremely limited. The ANTICOV clinical trial, which is consortia led by DNDi with partners including Swiss TPH, as started the recruitment of participants to test a new promising drug combination, fluoxetine and budesonide, as an early treatment for people affected with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.
Cases of SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron are surging in numerous settings, with early evidence suggesting Omicron is more infectious than the Delta variant. It is not yet known, however, if Omicron has higher severity or if vaccines are less effective. New research from Swiss TPH now provides guidance to decision-makers on Omicron's potential public health impact for a range of different scenarios. The paper is currently under review and available as pre-print.