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                    Siti Khayriyyah                

BBioMed (Hons), (Biomedical Science) International Islamic University
MSPH, (Global Disease Epidemiology and Control) Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Ph.D, (Immunology) Monash University
Room: G08-228; Ext. 3517; kye@usm.my 

Research Profile

Khayriyyah began academic research in epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection stemming from an internship at the World Health Organization in Geneva. Subsequently she developed an interest in tuberculosis, which led to studies on development of diagnostic biomarkers of tuberculosis and mucosal infections in her postgraduate training under supervision of Assoc Prof David Anderson.

Her evolving research interests span immunological biomarkers of mucosal infections, antigenic properties of mycobacteria (particularly M. tuberculosis complex), and viral hepatitis (particularly hepatitis C virus), aimed towards improving knowledge gaps in infectious disease diagnostics.

Current Research

 

1. Characterization of mycobacterial antigen 60 (A60)
The A60 is a thermostable macromolecular antigenic complex found in mycobacteria, comprising several lipids, proteins and polysaccharides with documented immunogenicity. A60 complex has been historically extracted by separating the peak exclusion fraction of M. bovis BCG vaccine whole cell lysate applied down a size exclusion chromatography column and used to detect antibodies for serological diagnosis of active tuberculosis. Despite its widespread use since the 1980s, the origins of the A60 complex and its exact member antigens have not been fully or systematically investigated. This project aims to address the gaps in knowledge surrounding the A60 complex, by improving extraction methods such as using resins with higher resolution capacity and refinement using affinity chromatography, then systematically characterizing the antigenic constituents as well as the interactions between them using a variety of immunological, proteomic and imaging methods.

2. Biomarkers to discriminate acute and chronic states of HCV infection
IgM-class antibodies are diagnostic of viral hepatitis such as acute hepatitis A and E virus (HAV, HEV) infections, and IgG is diagnostic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), current assays detecting anti-HCV IgG/ IgM have limited use in diagnosing hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection due to persisting antibodies. Confirmation with costly viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) is necessary to confirm active infection. HCV may cause liver disease and hepatic cancer because 85% of HCV-infected individuals progress to chronic infection. However, available biomarkers and tests cannot distinguish acute from chronic HCV (defined as an active infection longer than six months). Antibody response to HCV infection over time remains poorly characterized, and patients persistently infected but negative on anti-HCV IgG assays or “HCV serosilent” pose significant challenges to diagnostics. This project aims describe anti-HCV dimeric IgA, the main antibody produced mucosally, compared to antibody-class (IgA, IgM, IgG) responses in acutely infected, chronically infected, and repeatedly infected patients in order to identify better antibody biomarkers.

Collaborators

Anderson Laboratory, Macfarlane Burnet Institute
Nicole Kruh-Garcia, Dobos Laboratory, Colorado State University

Memberships:
Victorian Infection and Immunity Network (Member)
Johns Hopkins Delta Omega Alpha (Member)
IIUM English Debate Club (Alumnus)

Selected Publications

 • Stanaway JD, Flaxman AD, Naghavi M, Fitzmaurice C, Vos T, Mohd Hanafiah K, Cooke G, et al. (2016) The Global Burden of Viral Hepatitis 1990-2013. Lancet; In Press
. Flaxman AD, Mohd Hanafiah K, Peterson HM, Groeger J, Wiersma ST. (2015) 
Dealing with geographical variations: hepatitis C virus infection. In: An integrative metaregression framework for descriptive epidemiology. Eds: Flaxman AD, Vos T, Murray CJL
. Mohd Hanafiah K, Groeger J, Flaxman A, Wiersma ST. (2013) Global epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection: new estimates of age-specific antibody to HCV seroprevalence. Hepatology. 2013 Apr;57(4):1333-42. doi: 10.1002/hep.26141. Epub 2013 Feb 4. Systematic review & Meta-analysis.
. Mohd Hanafiah K, Garcia M, Anderson D. Point-of-care testing and the control of infectious diseases. Biomark Med. 2013 Jun;7(3):333-47. doi: 10.2217/bmm.13.57. Review.
. Mohd Hanafiah K, Jacobsen KH, Wiersma ST (2011) Challenges to mapping the health risk of hepatitis A virus infection. Int J Health Geogr. 2011 Oct 18;10:57. doi: 10.1186/1476-072X-10-57.
. Lim SS, Vos T, Flaxman AD, Danaei G, Shibuya K, Mohd Hanafiah K et al. (2012) A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2012 Dec 15;380 (9859):2224-60. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61766-8.

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