Alison Elliott

Alison Elliott

Professor of Tropical Medicine

MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit, Uganda and LSHTM, UK

Tel: +256 417 704000

Email: ;





Network Investigator


Research Keywords: 

TB, BCG, Helminths, Population Differences in Vaccine Responses



Alison Elliott is theme leader for Endemic, Neglected, Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases and head of the Immunomodulation and Vaccines research programme at the MRC/Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) Unit.  She is also director of the Makerere University – UVRI Centre of Excellence for Infection and Immunity Research and Training, and Professor of Tropical Medicine at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She became interested in parasitology and research in Africa as an undergraduate and this interest was encouraged further by an elective in The Gambia. After completing medical training she joined the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and, during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, undertook studies on the interaction between tuberculosis and HIV infection in Zambia. An infectious diseases fellowship in Denver, Colorado, followed, providing an opportunity to learn about management of drug resistant tuberculosis and about laboratory immunology. This enabled her to plan and conduct subsequent clinical-immuno-epidemiological studies. Since 1997 she has been based in Uganda at the Uganda Virus Research Institute. Current interests focus on the effects of chronic, immunomodulating infections (such as helminth infections) on immune responses to vaccines and on infectious and allergic disease incidence in children in Uganda; and on research capacity building in Africa.


Related Websites: 

MRC/UVRI Profile

Makerere/UVRI Infection & Immunity Website


Key Publications:

  • Wajja A, Kizito D, Nassanga B, Nalwoga A, Kabagenyi J, Kimuda S, Galiwango R, Mutonyi G, Vermaak S, Satti I, Verweij J, Tukahebwa E, Cose S, Levin J, Kaleebu P, Elliott AM,* McShane H.*  The effect of current Schistosoma mansoni infection on the immunogenicity of a candidate TB vaccine, MVA85A, in BCG-vaccinated adolescents: an open-label trial.  PLoS Negl Trop Dis; in press.  *Equal contribution.
  • Webb EL, Nampijja M, Kaweesa J, Kizindo R, Namutebi M, Nakazibwe E, Oduru G, Kabubi P, Kabagenyi J, Nkurunungi G, Kizito D, Muhangi L, Akello M, Verweij JJ, Nerima B, Tukahebwa E, Elliott AM; LaVIISWA trial team. Helminths are positively associated with atopy and wheeze in Ugandan fishing communities: results from a cross-sectional survey Allergy. 2016 Feb 25. doi: 10.1111/all.12867. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26918891
  • Elliott A, Nerima B, Bagaya B, Kambugu A, Joloba M, Cose S, Pantaleo G, Yazdanbakhsh M, Mabey D, Dunne D, Moffett A, Rwakishaya EK, Kaleebu P, Mbidde EK. Capacity for science in Africa.  Lancet. 2015 Jun 20;385(9986):2435-7.  PMID: 26122054
  • Wammes L, Mpairwe H, Elliott AM, Yazdanbakhsh M.  Helminth therapy or elimination: epidemiological, immunological, and clinical considerations.  Lancet Infectious Diseases 2014; 14(11):1150-1162.
  • Mpairwe H, Tweyongyere R, Elliott A.  Pregnancy and helminth infections.  Parasite Immunology, 2014, 36(8):328-37.
  • Ndibazza J, Webb EL, Lule S, Mpairwe H, Akello M, Oduru G, Kizza M, Akurut H, Muhangi L, Magnussen P, Vennervald B, Elliott AM.  Associations between maternal helminth and malaria infections in pregnancy, and clinical malaria in the offspring: a birth cohort in Entebbe, Uganda. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2013, 208:2007-16. PMC3836463
  • Anderson EJ, Webb EL, Mawa PA, Kizza M, Lyadda N, Nampijja M, Elliott AM.  The influence of BCG vaccine strain on mycobacteria-specific and non-specific immune responses in a prospective cohort of infants in Uganda. Vaccine 2012, 30:2083-2089. PMC3314967    
  • Webb EL, Mawa PA, Ndibazza J, Kizito D, Namatovu A, Kyosiimire-Lugemwa J, Nanteza B, Nampijja M, Muhangi L, Woodburn PWW, Akurut H, Mpairwe H, Akello M, Lyadda N, Bukusuba J, Kihembo M, Kizza M, Kizindo R, Nabulime J, Ameke C, Namujju PB, Tweyongyere R, Muwanga M, Whitworth JAG, Elliott AM. Effect of single-dose anthelmintic treatment during pregnancy on an infant's response to immunisation and on susceptibility to infectious diseases in infancy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 2011; 377:52-62. PMC3018567 
  • Mpairwe H, Webb E, Muhangi L, Ndibazza J, Akishule D, Nampijja M, Ngom-wegi S, Tumusime J, Muwanga M, Rodrigues LC, Elliott AM. Anthelminthic treatment during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of allergic conditions in infancy: results from a randomised controlled trial. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2011; 22:305-12. PMC3130136 
  • Elliott AM, Mawa PA, Webb EL, Nampijja M, Lyada N, Bukusuba J, Kizza M, Namujju P, Nabulime J, Ndibazza J, Muwanga M, Whitworth JAG. Effects of maternal and infant co-infections, and of maternal immunisation, on the infant response to BCG and tetanus immunisation in a birth cohort in Uganda. Vaccine 2010; 29:247-255. PMC3021124 ​