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Molecular Virology in Kazakhstan


Capacity Building for Molecular Virology in Kazakhstan

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Nazarbaev University, Kazakstan, Astana


  • Columbia University, USA, New York\nUniversity of Oxford, UK, Oxford

Project summary

The intention of this proposal is to study the molecular epidemiology of viral infections in Kazakhstan, with special focus on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Infections of HCV and HBV are common in Kazakhstan whereas the prevalence of HIV is reported to be considerably high in certain high risk populations in the country. At present, in Kazakhstan there are very little data available regarding the genetic makeup of these viruses. Knowledge of viral genetic sequence provides information on the prevalent genotypes and subtypes, drug resistance, and vaccine design. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences also helps in identifying possible geographic foci of infection outbreaks, and in monitoring the epidemic’s geographic spread. An understanding of the prevalent genetic viral variants in a population is, therefore, helpful in devising targeted strategies for vaccination, treatment and prevention against viral infections.
For the proposed project, we will start with a collaborative effort, involving major cities of Kazakhstan, including Astana and Almaty, to gather data on the prevalence and epidemiology of HIV, HBV and HCV in this country. Blood samples from high-risk groups will be collected and PCR-based methodology will be utilized to amplify and sequence selected viral genes.
Using a two-pronged approach, while the proposed study will generate data on molecular virology, this project will also provide a platform to train Kazakhstani students and young scientists in molecular virology. To understand the true nature of viral infections, it is imperative to build capacity for molecular virology research in Kazakhstan. This will enable the physicians and scientists to devise better strategies for the prevention and treatment of viral infections.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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