Emerging and Neglected Tropical Diseases Unit
Dr. Ulrich Kuch
Robert Berger, Dipl.-Biol.
The Emerging and Neglected Tropical Diseases Unit of BiK-F is a partner of AFRIVEC.
Dr. Ulrich Kuch
Project Group Leader, Medical Biodiversity and Parasitology
My main research interests focus on the positive and negative roles that biodiversity plays for health, the effects that global change has on health, and the nexus between these.
The research group I lead is an international team of highly motivated young biologists and medical doctors whose backgrounds range from ecology, genetics, medical entomology, parasitology and zoology to environmental health, epidemiology and public health.
We study organisms as different as mosquitoes, venomous animals and bats. Collectively, these groups are responsible for a vast proportion of the global burden of disease caused by animals. To better understand their organismal and molecular biodiversity, how it relates to health, and how these interactions are affected by global change, is crucial for improving health care, public health planning, and climate change adaptation. As a consequence, our projects extend from molecular and morphology-based taxonomy over eco-epidemiology and toxicology into clinical research.
The common denominators in our group are emerging and neglected tropical diseases and international cooperation. Emerging infectious diseases and neglected tropical diseases disproportionally affect poor rural people in developing countries who are at the same time most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. At the same time pathogens and disease vectors from such regions (e.g., dengue virus, tiger mosquitoes) are of increasing concern in Europe. Bridging the technology and knowledge gap offers exceptional opportunities to learn from each other and to find innovative solutions for some of the greatest challenges of our time.
B4.2: Vector-Borne Diseases in the Rhein-Main Area
B4.3: Tiger Mosquitoes: Invasion of Europe
B4.5: Venomous Snakes of Nepal
Alirol E, Sharma SK, Bawaskar HS, Kuch U, Chappuis F, 2010. Snake bite in South Asia: a review. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 4: e603
Castoe TA, Daza JM, Smith EN, Sasa M, Kuch U, Campbell JA, Chippindale PT, Parkinson CL, 2009. Comparative phylogeography of pitvipers suggests a consensus of ancient Middle American highland biogeography. Journal of Biogeography 36: 88-103
Faiz MA, Ghose A, Ahsan MF, Rahman MR, Amin R, Hassan M, Chowdhury MAW, Kuch U, Rocha T, Harris JB, Theakston RDG, Warrell DA, 2010. The greater black krait (Bungarus niger), a newly recognized cause of neuro-myotoxic snake bite envenoming in Bangladesh. Brain 133: 3181-3193
Harris JB, Faiz MA, Rahman MR, Jalil MA, Ahsan MF, Theakston RDG, Warrell DA, Kuch U, 2010. Snake bite in Chittagong Division, Bangladesh: a study of bitten patients who developed no signs of systemic envenoming. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 104: 320-327
Islam QT, Razzak MA, Islam MA, Bari MI, Basher A, Chowdhury FR, Sayeduzzaman ABM, Ahasan HAMN, Faiz MA, Arakawa O, Yotsu-Yamashita M, Kuch U, Mebs D, 2011. Puffer fish poisoning in Bangladesh: clinical and toxicological results from large outbreaks in 2008. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 105: 74-80
Kuch U, Keogh JS, Weigel J, Smith LA, Mebs D, 2005. Phylogeography of Australia's king brown snake (Pseudechis australis) reveals Pliocene divergence and Pleistocene dispersal of a top predator. Naturwissenschaften 92: 121-127