About Dr. Richard Lessells

rjlessells@gmail.com +27 31 260 4898

Background

I am a Clinical Research PhD Graduate from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and am currently based at the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies. I was funded by a fellowship from the Wellcome Trust and my research is focused on evaluation of TB and HIV diagnostics, with a particular interest in drug resistance.

Affiliations:

Group Leader: KRISP - KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform, UKZN, Durban, South Africa.

Associate: Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa Advanced Clinical Care (CAPRISA ACC), Durban, South Africa.

Associate: Infectious Diseases Department, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN, Durban, South Africa.


Publications

Current Affairs of Microbial Genome-Wide Association Studies: Approaches, Bottlenecks and Analytical Pitfalls.
San EJ, Baichoo S, Kanzi A, Moosa Y, Lessells R, Fonseca V, Mogaka J, Power R, de Oliveira T, Front. Microbiol. (2020), https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.03119:.


Emtricitabine-induced pure red cell aplasia.
Manickchund N, du Plessis C, John MA, Manzini TC, Gosnell BI, Lessells RJ, Moosa YS, South Afr J HIV Med (2019), 20(1):983. doi: 10.4102/sajhivmed.v20i1.983:.


Space-time clustering of recently diagnosed tuberculosis and impact of ART scale-up: Evidence from an HIV hyper-endemic rural South African population.
Tomita A, Smith CM, Lessells RJ, Pym A, Grant AD, de Oliveira T, Tanser F , Scientific Reports (2019), https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46455-7:.


Whole genome sequencing for drug-resistant tuberculosismanagement in South Africa: What gaps would this address andwhat are the challenges to implementation?.
Dlamini MT, Lessells R, Iketleng T, de Oliveira T, Journal of Clinical TB and Other Mycobacterial Dis (2019), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jctube.2019.100115:.


Trends in Pretreatment HIV-1 Drug Resistance in Antiretroviral Therapy-naive Adults in South Africa, 2000–2016: A Pooled Sequence Analysis.
Chimukangara B, Lessells RJ, Rhee S-Y, Giandhari J, Kharsany ABM, Naidoo K, Lewis L, Cawood C, Khanyile D, Ayalew KA, Diallo K, Samuel R, Hunt G, Vandormael A, Stray-Pedersen B, Gordon M, Makadzange T, Kiepiela P, Ramjee G, Ledwaba J, Kalimashe M, Morris L, Parikh UM, Mellors JW, Shafer RW, Katzenstein D, Moodley P, Gupta RK, Pillay D, Karim SSA, de Oliveira T, EClinicalMedicine (Lancet) (2019), DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2019.03.006:.


The effect of interventions on the transmission and spread of HIV in South Africa: a phylodynamic analysis.
Wilkinson E, Junqueira DM, Lessells R, Engelbrecht S, van Zyl G, de Oliveira T, Salemi M, Scientific Reports (2019), 9:2640:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-37749-3.


Moderate to high levels of pre-treatment HIV drug resistance in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa.
Chimukangara B, Kharsany AB, Lessells RJ, Naidoo K, Rhee SY, Manasa J, Gräf T, Lewis L, Cawood C, Khanyile D, Diallo K, Ayalew KA, Shafer R, Hunt G, Pillay D, Abdool SK, de Oliveira T, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses (2019), https://doi.org/10.1089/AID.2018.0202:.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis Next-Generation Whole Genome Sequencing: Opportunities and Challenges.
Iketleng T, Lessells R, Dlamini MT, Mogashoa T, Mupfumi L, Moyo S, Gaseitsiwe S, de Oliveira T, Tuberculosis Research and Treatment (2018), https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/1298542:.


Community engagement with HIV drug adherence in rural South Africa: a transdisciplinary approach.
Treffry-Goatley A, Lessells RJ, Moletsane R, de Oliveira T, Gaede B, BMJ Med Humanit (2018), 44:239–246.


HIV drug resistance in sub-Saharan Africa: public health questions and the potential role of real-world data and mathematical modelling.
de waal R, Lessells R, Hauser A, Kouyos R, Davies M-A, Egger M, Wandeler G, for ieDeA-Southern Africa, Journal of Virus Eradication (2018), 4(Supplement 2): :55–58.


Dolutegravir for first-line antiretroviral therapy in low-income and middle-income countries: uncertainties and opportunities for implementation and research.
Dorward J, Lessells R, Drain PK, Naidoo K, de Oliveira T, Pillay Y, Karim SSA, Garrett N, Lancet HIV (2018), https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-3018(18)30093-6:.


Spatial clustering of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Hlabisa subdistrict, KwaZulu-Natal, 2011-2015.
Smith CM, Lessells R, Grant AD, Herbst K, Tanser F, Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. (2018), 1;22(3):287-293. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.17.0457:.


Tuberculosis mortality and the male survival deficit in rural South Africa: An observational community cohort study.
Reniers G, Blom S, Lieber J, Herbst AJ, Calvert C, Bor J, Barnighausen T, Zaba B, Li ZR, Clark SJ, Grant AD, Lessells R, Eaton JW, Hosegood V, PLoS ONE (2017), 12(10):e0185692. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185692:.


HIV assessment and testing for hospital in-patients: still a weak link in the cascade.
Iwuji CC, Lessells RJ, Public Health Action (2017), 21;7(4):243. doi: 10.5588/pha.17.0111:.


Impact of point-of-care Xpert MTB/RIF on tuberculosis treatment initiation: a cluster randomised trial.
Lessells RJ, Cooke GS, McGrath N, Nicol MP, Newell ML, Godfrey-Faussett P, Am J Respir Crit Care Med (2017), :doi: 10.1164/rccm.201702-0278OC.


HIV drug resistance levels in adults failing first-line antiretroviral therapy in an urban and a rural setting in South Africa.
Rossouw TM, Nieuwoudt M, Manasa J, Malherbe G, Lessells RJ, Pillay S, Danaviah S, Mahasha P, van Dyk G, de Oliveira T, HIV Med. (2017), 2016 :doi: 10.1111/hiv.12400.


Increasing HIV-1 drug resistance between 2010 and 2012 in adults participating in population-based HIV surveillance in rural KwaZulu-Natal South Africa.
Manasa J, Danaviah S, Lessells RJ, Elshareef M, Tanser F, Wilkinson E, Pillay S, Mthiyane H, Mwambi H, Pillay D, de Oliveira T, AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses (2016), 32(8):763-769.


Understanding Specific Contexts of Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence in Rural South Africa: A Thematic Analysis of Digital Stories from a Community with High HIV Prevalence.
Treffry-Goatley A, Lessells R, Sykes P, Barnighausen T, de Oliveira T, Moletsane R, Seeley J., PLoS One (2016), 11(2):doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148801.


HIV treatment cascade in tuberculosis patients.
Lessells RJ, Swaminathan S, Godfrey-Faussett P, Curr Opin HIV AIDS (2015), 10(6):439-46. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000197:.


Implementing antiretroviral resistance testing in a primary health care HIV treatment programme in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: early experiences, achievements and challenges.
Lessells RJ, Stott KE, Manasa J, Naidu KK, Skingsley A, Rossouw T, de Oliveira T, BMC Health Services Research (2014), 14:116:doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-116.


Southern African Treatment Resistance Network (SATuRN) RegaDB HIV drug resistance and clinical management database: supporting patient management, surveillance and research in southern Africa.
Manasa J, Lessells R, Rossouw T, Naidu K, Van Vuuren C, Goedhals D, Van Zyl G, Bester A, Skingsley A, Stott K, Danaviah S, Chetty T, Singh L, Moodley P, Iwuji C, McGrath N, Seebregts CJ, de Oliveira T, Database (Oxford) (2014), Vol. 2014 :bat082. doi: 10.1093/database/bat082.


Drug resistance in children at virological failure in a rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, cohort.
Pillay S, Bland RM, Lessells RJ, Manasa J, de Oliveira T, Danaviah S., AIDS Res Ther. (2014), 11(1):3. doi: 10.1186/1742-6405-11-3.


Combined antiretroviral and antituberculosis drug resistance following incarceration.
Stott KE, de Oliveira T, Lessells RJ, S Afr J HIV Med (2013), 14(3):135-137.


HIV & TB Drug Resistance & Clinical Management Case Book.
Rossouw T, Lessells RJ, de Oliveira T, South African Medical Research Council Press (2013), ISBN 978-1-920014-91-9:.


Are subtype differences important in HIV drug resistance?.
Lessells RJ, Katzenstein DK, de Oliveira T, Current Opinion Virology (2012), 2(5):636-43.


Gender Differences in Survival among Adult Patients Starting Antiretroviral Therapy in South Africa: A Multicentre Cohort Study.
Cornell M, Schomaker M, Garone DB, Giddy J, Hoffmann CJ, Lessells R, Maskew M, Prozesky H, Wood R, Johnson LF, Egger M, Boulle A, Myer L For IeDEA-SA, PLoS Medicine (2012), 9(9):e1001304.


Cohort profile: Hlabisa HIV Treatment and Care Programme.
Houlihan C, Bland R, Mutevedzi P, Lessells R, Ndirangu J, Thulare H, Newell ML, Int J Epidemiol (2011), 40:318-26.


Retention in HIV care for individuals not yet eligible for antiretroviral therapy: rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Lessells RJ, Mutevedzi PC, Cooke GS, Newell ML., J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr (2011), 56(3):e79-86.


Poor long-term outcomes for cryptococcal meningitis in rural South Africa.
Lessells RJ, Mutevedzi PC, Heller T, Newell ML, S Afr Med (2011), 101:251-2.


International spread of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis from Tugela Ferry, South Africa.
Cooke GS, Beaton RK, Lessells RJ, John L, Ashworth S, Kon OM, Williams OM, Supply P, Moodley P, Pym AS, Emerg Infect Dis (2011), 17:2035-2037.


Evaluation of tuberculosis diagnostics: establishing an evidence base around the public health impact.
Lessells RJ, Cooke GS, Newell ML, Godfrey-Faussett P, J Infect Dis (2011), 204:S1187-95.


Community-based treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Heller T, Lessells RJ, Wallrauch C, Barnighausen T, Cooke GS, Mhlongo L, Master I, Newell ML, Int J TB Lung Dis (2010), 14:420-426.


The TB challenge in a rural South African HIV programme.
Houlihan C, Mutevedzi P, Lessells R, Cooke G, Tanser F, Newell ML, BMC Infect Dis (2010), 10:23.


Scale-up of a decentralised HIV treatment programme in rural KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa: does rapid expansion affect patient outcomes?.
Mutevedzi P, Lessells RJ, Heller T, Barnighausen T, Cooke G, Newell ML, Bull WHO (2010), 88:593-600.


HIV and hepatitis B co-infection in Africa.
Lessells RJ, Main J, Cooke GS, Lancet Infectious Diseases (2008), 8:210-11.


Effect of the HIV epidemic on liver cancer in Africa.
Lessells RJ, Cooke GS, Lancet (2008), 371:1504.


Blogs from Bioafrica and SATuRN websites News Section from Bioafrica and SATuRN websites

News