Jonathan Kurtis, MD, PhD, is an associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine with subspecialty training in transfusion medicine and coagulation at Brown Medical School
Since 1993, Kurtis has studied schistosomiasis immunity and participated in field based data collection in the Philippines, China, Kenya and Brazil.
Kurtis has studied a cohort of 270 individuals residing in a malaria endemic community in western Kenya. He examined the relationship between puberty and resistance to reinfection, the relationship between cellular and humoral immune responses and resistance to reinfection, the relationship between cytokine gene polymorphisms and resistance to reinfection, and the relationship between pro-inflammatory cytokines and malnutrition. In addition, he has utilized these Kenyan sera to identify new vaccine candidates for falciparum malaria. This data, based on a single year of fieldwork, resulted in ten published papers.
More recently, Kurtis has led a complex longitudinal study of the impact of pubertal development on protective immunity and morbidity in schistosomiasis japonica. This ongoing study has recruited 625 S. japonicum-infected individuals age eight to thirty years residing in the same endemic villages that supported the previous pregnancy pilot study. At baseline, stool, anthropometric, ultrasound, water contact and hematology data were collected.
All individuals were treated with praziquantel (PZQ) and followed for eighteen months with quarterly stool, anthropometric, water contact and hematology assessment. Despite the fact that this longitudinal study recently finished recruitment, we have already published nine papers with several more in review.
Kurtis is currently a co-investigator on an ongoing National Institutes of Health-funded randomized controlled trial of praziquantel during pregnancy and is responsible for immunologic and iron status analyses of maternal and placental blood.