COMSTECH Webinar series; « Decreased morbidity and mortality due to Covid 19 pandemic in a BCG vaccinated Pakistani population. Implications for SARS COV2 vaccination strategies »

Delivered by:

Prof. Dr. Rabia Hussain PhD, FRC Path
Professor and former Head of Microbiology Aga Khan University

Date: 16th May 2023
Time: 03:00 pm Pakistan Standard Time

Introduction to the talk

This talk will focus on BCG stimulated recall responses in the innate cellular network as well as detection of cross reactive antibodies to SARS COV 2 pre-pandemic in young Pakistani adults, the possibility of a link to the decreased mortality and disease severity observed in the Pakistani population, particularly in the young adult population. Such recognition of conserved epitopes may be used to develop a pan-vaccine strategy to combat future emergence of variant strains of COVID-19.

Target Audience

The webinar is open to students, researchers, young scientists, and academicians from the OIC member states and other countries with relevant background.

Profile of the Speaker:

Rabia Hussain is Ghulamali Hirji professor and former head of department of microbiology, Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi, Pakistan. She obtained her BSc (hons.) in 1966, MSc (microbiology) in 1967 at Karachi University, and PhD (immunology) at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 1973. She worked on characterization of Ascaris and Shistosoma allergens and then moved to human pollen allergies when she joined Johns Hopkins University. She subsequently moved to NIH as a senior staff fellow in Dr Eric Ottesen laboratory and did seminal work in identifying blocking antibodies to IgE responses in filariasis. Her paper on IgE responses in filariasis was declared the best paper by American Society of Nuclear Medicine. She was recruited to AKU to set up a State-of-the-Art-Immunology Laboratory and develop a program in Immunology of Infectious disease, a first in Pakistan in 1986, where she did outstanding work on Immunology of Mycobacterial disease. Her work has led to the early diagnosis and pathogenesis of leprosy and tuberculosis for which she received TWAS prize in Basic Medical Sciences, Research Excellence award by AKU, and has received National Civil Honours, Tamghe-i-Imtiaz and Sitara-e-Imtiaz. She was appointed National Distinguished Professor by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. She was elected life Patron of Pakistan Society of Immunology.  She is an elected fellow of The Royal College of Pathologist, The World Academy of Sciences, The Pakistan Academy of Sciences and The Islamic World Academy of Sciences. She is an elected council member of The International Leprosy Association, member the British Society of Immunology and the International Society of Infectious Diseases. She was also elected TWAS Council member and later Vice President, South and Central Asia, and ranked among the top ten Women Scientist in the Muslim world by the OIC, and top fifty in Asia by AAASA. She was recently appointed Professor Emeritus at The Aga Khan University. Currently her citation Index=7378, h-Index=50 and iL10=129.

Flyer of webinar:  Link

Abstract of the talk: Link 

Register at:

Zoom link for participation will be shared with selected participants.

For more information please contact;
Email: ;

Phone No: 92 51 9220681-3

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