Tonney Nyirenda


Dr. Tonney Nyirenda is a Lecturer in Microbiology and Post-Doctoral Immunologists based at University of Malawi, College of Medicine and the Blantyre Malaria Project. Dr. Nyirenda’s research has focused on dissecting mechanisms of increased susceptibility to invasive bacterial infections during current or convalescent malaria in children. Since 2010, Dr. Nyirenda’s research career has been productive publishing in highly regarded journals and securing competitive training awards including; Wellcome Trust Masters Fellowship 2008-2010, Commonwealth Split Site 2011-2012 and CARTA PhD Fellowships 2012-2016, and SACORE Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2017-2018. He is currently co-supervision two PhD students and three MSc students at the University of Malawi and University of Liverpool. Dr. Nyirenda’s goal is to become an independent researcher in Infectious Diseases Immunology. Dr. Nyirenda’s has made significant contribution to science in the field of invasive bacterial infections and malaria in children from Africa. Malaria is commonly associated with invasive bacterial infections but the immunologic basis of this observation is poorly understood. Dr. Nyirenda and colleagues recently discovered that malaria infections transiently induces the loss of humoral and cellular immunity to NTS in children and this is independent of age and IgG antibody titres to NTS-LPS. The loss in humoral immunity appears to be via increased consumption of complement components during malaria. The global loss in humoral and cellular immunity during malaria may help to explain the epidemiological association of malaria and invasive NTS infections in children from malaria endemic regions. • Nyirenda TS, Nyirenda J, Tembo D, Storm J, Dube Q, Msefula CL, Jambo K, Mwandumba H, Heyderman R, Gordon M, Mandala WL; Loss of Humoral and Cellular Immunity to Invasive Nontyphoidal Salmonella During Current or Convalescent Plasmodium falciparum Infection in Malawian Children. In press Clinical Vaccine Immunology, May 2017 Why children that had been exposed to malaria parasites before, develop severe malaria during subsequent malaria parasites exposure is poorly understood. Dr. Nyirenda and colleagues described immune regulation that occurs in malaria infected Malawian children (acute and convalescent) from low/high malaria transmission intensity. This work suggests that down regulation of pro-inflammatory immune response to malaria parasites in convalescent children may lead to development of severe forms of malaria disease. • Nyirenda TS, et al Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society pp. 1-10, 2015. DOI:10.1093/jpids/piu140 Salmonella is an important cause of bacteremia in children and what constitutes natural immunity to Salmonella in humans is poorly understood. Dr. Nyirenda and colleagues described the sequential acquisition of T cell and antibody immunity to Salmonella in children. This work demonstrated that antibodies and T cells are required for establishment of robust immunity to invasive Salmonella infection in children and also defined when children lack immunity to Salmonella and require intervention in form of vaccination. • Nyirenda, TS, et al, The Journal of infectious diseases 2014