Home » ALURS


  Adama Lund University Research Site (ALURS)

Lund University, Background

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. It has 9 faculties plus several interdisciplinary research institutes, centers, and facilities. Lund University's vision is to be a world-class university that works to understand, explain, and improve our world and the human condition.

ALURS mission

Adama Lund University Research Site (ALURS) is a field research unit which is managed in collaboration between Lund University and AHRI. During the recent decade, ALURS has expanded gradually and has permanent staff and equipment in Adama, Ethiopia. ALURS is a platform for conduction of different types of research studies on global health issues, using translational approaches with participation of researchers from a broad range of fields in medical science, as well as other academic disciplines. This platform can be used both for small projects and for large long-term cohort studies.

ALURS vision

The vision of ALURS is to become a major research unit which can serve as a base for scientific projects that can contribute to solve important issues that can lead to better lives and health for people in the world of today and in future.

ALURS office in Adama, Ethiopia


ALURS Publications

ALURS publications-2022

Zenatti G, Raviglione M, Tesfaye F, Bobosha K, Björkman P, Walles J. High variability in tuberculosis treatment outcomes across 15 health facilities in a semi-urban area in central Ethiopia. J Clin Tuberc Other Mycobact Dis (accepted for publication; 2022)

Tesfaye F, Sturegård E, Walles J, Bekele B, Bobosha K, Björkman P. Dynamics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis -Specific and Nonspecific Immune Responses in Women with. Microbiol Spectr. 202.

Olsson O, Tesfaye F, Søkilde R, Mazurek J, Abebe M, Yeba H, Aseffa A, Skogmar S, Balcha TT, Rovira C, Björkman P and Jansson M (2022). Expression of MicroRNAs Is Dysregulated by HIV While Mycobacterium tuberculosis Drives Alterations of Small Nucleolar RNAs in HIV Positive Adults with Active Tuberculosis. Front. Microbiol. 12:808250.

Walles J, Otero LG, Tesfaye F, Jansson M, Balcha TT, Sturegård E, Winqvist N, Hansson SR, Björkman P (2022). Tuberculosis infection and stillbirth in women in Ethiopia – a prospective cohort study. PLoS ONE 17(4): e0261972.

Flanagan E, Oudin A, Walles J, Abera A, Mattisson K, Isaxon C, et al. Ambient and indoor air pollution exposure and adverse birth outcomes in Adama, Ethiopia. Environ Int [Internet]. 2022;164(February):107251.

Szanyi J, Walles JK, Tesfaye F, Gudeta AN, Björkman P. Intrauterine HIV exposure is associated with linear growth restriction among Ethiopian children in the first 18 months of life. Trop Med Int Heal. 2022;6–8.

García-Otero L, Walles J, Balcha TT, Merga G, López M, Crispi F, et al. Cardiovascular effects of intrauterine exposure to maternal HIV and antiretroviral therapy in Ethiopian infants followed from fetal life. Aids. 2022; epub ahead of print

Adugna Negussie Gudeta, Carin Andrén Aronsson, Bayissa Bekele Binagdie, Alemayehu Girma, and Daniel Agardh. Incidence of celiac disease autoimmunity and associations with maternal tuberculosis and pediatric Helicobacter pylori infections in 4-year-old Ethiopian children followed up in an HLA genotyped birth cohort. Front. Pediatr. (2022); 10:999287

Olsson, O.Skogmar, S.Tesfaye, F., Mulleta, D., Jansson, M. & Björkman, P., (2022). Kynurenine/tryptophan ratio for detection of active tuberculosis in adults with HIV prior to antiretroviral therapyAIDS. 36: 1245-1253

Characterization of fine particulate matter from indoor cooking with solid biomass fuels. Axel Eriksson, Asmamaw Abera, Ebba Malmqvist, Christina Isaxon. 2022. Indoor Air vol 32:11. https://doi.org/10.1111/ina.13143

 ALURS publications-2021

Walles J, Tesfaye F, Jansson M, Balcha TT, Sturegård E, Kefeni M, Merga G, Hansson SR. Winqvist, N. & Björkman, P. (2021). Tuberculosis Infection in Women of Reproductive Age : A Cross-sectional Study at Antenatal Care Clinics in an Ethiopian City. Clin Infect Dis ciaa561:1–8.

Tesfaye F, Walles J, Sturegård E, Winqvist N, Balcha TT, Kefeni M, Jansson M, Björkman P. 2021. Longitudinal Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific interferon gamma responses in Ethiopian HIV-negative women during pregnancy and postpartum. J Clin Microbiol 59:e00868-21.

Johansson M, Penno C, Winqvist N, Tesfaye F, Björkman P. How does HIV testing modality impact the cascade of care among persons diagnosed with HIV in Ethiopia? Glob Health Action. 2021;14.

Thorman J, Björkman P, Marrone G, Tolera Balcha T, Tesfaye F, Abdissa T, Naniche D, Medstrand P, Reepalu A. Interferon-γ-Inducible Protein 10 (IP-10) Kinetics after Antiretroviral Treatment Initiation in Ethiopian Adults with HIV. Microbiol Spectr. 2021 Dec 22;9(3): e0181021. 

Flanagan E, Mattisson K, Walles J, Abera A, Eriksson A, Balidemaj F, et al. Air Pollution and Urban Green Space: Evidence of Environmental Injustice in Adama, Ethiopia. Front Sustain Cities. 2021;3.

Adugna Negussie Gudeta, Carin Andrén Aronsson, Taye Tolera Balcha and Daniel Agardh. Complementary Feeding Habits in Children Under the Age of 2 Years Living in the City of Adama in the Oromia Region in Central Ethiopia: Traditional Ethiopian Food Study. Front. Nutr. (2021); 8:672462.

Reepalu, A.Arimide, D. A., Balcha, T. T., Yeba, H., Zewdu, A., Medstrand, P. & Björkman, P., (2021). Drug Resistance in HIV-Positive Adults During the Initial Year of Antiretroviral Treatment at Ethiopian Health Centers. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 8:ofab106.

Indoor Air Pollution Exposure of Women in Adama, Ethiopia, and Assessment of Disease Burden Attributable to Risk Factor. Festina Balidemaj, Christina Isaxon, Asmamaw Abera, Ebba Malmqvist. 2021. Environmental Research and Public Health. Doi: 10.3390/ijerph18189859

Measurements of NOx and Development of Land Use Regression Models in an East-African City. Asmamaw Abera, Ebba Malmqvist, Kristoffer Mattisson, Yumjirmaa Mandakh, Erin Flanagan, Geremew Sahilu, Bezatu Mengistie, Abebe Genetu, Abraham Aseffaa, Christina Isaxon and Kristoffer Mattisson. 2021. Atmosphere. doi: 10.3390/atmos12040519

Air Pollution Measurements and Land-Use Regression in Urban Sub-Saharan Africa Using Low-Cost Sensors—Possibilities and Pitfalls. Asmamaw Abera, Kristoffer Mattisson, Axel Eriksson, Erik Ahlberg, Geremew Sahilu, Bezatu Mengistie, Abebe Genetu Bayih, Abraham Aseffaa, Ebba Malmqvist, Christina Isaxon. 2021 Atmosphere, 11(12), 1357; doi:10.3390/atmos11121357

ALURS publications-2020

Tesfaye F, Sturegård E, Walles J, Winqvist N, Balcha TT, Karlson S, Mulleta D, Isberg PE, Jansson M , Björkman P (2020). Alternative biomarkers for classification of latent tuberculosis infection status in pregnant women with borderline Quantiferon plus results. Tuberculosis; 124:101984.

Adugna Negussie Gudeta, Anita Ramelius, Taye T. Balcha, Alemayehu Girma, Jorma Ilonen, Daniel Agardh. Distribution of HLA-DQ risk genotypes for celiac disease in Ethiopian children. HLA (2020); 96: 681–687.

Reepalu, A.Arimide, D. A., Balcha, T. T., Björkman, P. & Medstrand, P., 2020Brief Report: Interferon-γ-Inducible Protein 10-A Potential Marker for Targeted Viral Load Monitoring of Antiretroviral Treatment? AIDS 83: 475-478

Plymoth, M., Sanders, E. J., Van Der Elst, E. M., Medstrand, P.Tesfaye, F.Winqvist, N., Balcha, T. & Bjorkman, P., (2020). Socio-economic condition and lack of virological suppression among adults and adolescents receiving antiretroviral therapy in EthiopiaPLoS ONE. 15: e0244066.

ALURS publications-2019

Thorman J; Björkman P; Tesfaye F; Jeylan A; Balcha TT; Reepalu A, (2019). Validation of the Viral Load Testing Criteria - an algorithm for targeted viral load testing in HIV-positive adults receiving antiretroviral therapy. Trop Med Int Health, 24: 356-362.

Adugna Negussie Gudeta, Charlotte Brundin, Daba Muleta Feyissa, Taye Tolera Balcha, Daniel Agardh. Prevalence of Celiac Disease Autoimmunity in Ethiopian Pregnant Women: A Cross Sectional Study from the Oromia region. International Journal of Celiac Disease (2019); 7, (3), 74-77.

Olsson, O.Björkman, P.Jansson, M., Balcha, T. T., Mulleta, D., Yeba, H., Valfridsson, C., Carlsson, F. & Skogmar, S., (2019). Plasma profiles of inflammatory markers associated with active tuberculosis in antiretroviral therapy-naive human immunodeficiency virus-positive individualsOpen Forum Infectious Diseases. 6, ofz015.

ALURS publications-2018

Walles JK, Tesfaye F, Jansson M, Balcha TT, Winqvist N, Kefeni M, Garoma S, Belachew F, Sturegård E, Björkman P. Performance of QuantiFERON-TB gold plus for detection of latent tuberculosis infection in pregnant women living in a tuberculosis- and HIV-endemic setting. PloS One 2018;13.


Ongoing Projects

1.The role of maternal TB infection for adverse pregnancy and infant health outcomes in Ethiopia – a long-term prospective cohort study.     

This prospective cohort study (2015–2025) aims to investigate consequences of tuberculosis (TB) infection in women of reproductive age, and to characterize longitudinal patterns of immune dynamics in women with TB infection in connection to pregnancy. Participants are recruited during pregnancy at public health facilities in Adama city, and are followed along with their offspring after delivery. Specifically, the project investigates the following topics: the effects of TB infection on pregnancy outcome; identification and evaluation of biomarkers for TB infection during pregnancy and postpartum; effects of pregnancy on TB-specific and non-specific immune responses; incidence of active tuberculosis during pregnancy and post-partum; long-term effects on child health and growth from maternal TB infection; effect of maternal HIV infection and different antiretroviral treatment (ART) regimens on cardiovascular development of their infants; effect of TB infection on placental function; characterization of TB infection in household members of women or children with recently acquired TB infection.

Funding:  Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, the Crafoord Foundation, the Alfred Osterlund¨ Foundation, Region Skåne research grants, Governmental funding of clinical research within the National Health Services Sweden, and a private donation to Lund University, Sweden

 2. Characterization of HIV transmission in the era of scaling up access to antiretroviral therapy in the city of Adama and surrounding district, and alternative strategies for treatment monitoring (THESA)

This project (launched in 2022) aims to characterize patterns of HIV transmission to investigate how persons with ongoing viral replication during ART contribute to HIV transmission, and to determine patterns of HIV transmission with regard to risk behavior, ART experience and human genetics and to explore novel strategies for monitoring of virological response during ART. In addition, the project explores characteristics of TB infection and disease among people with HIV with regard to ART exposure and clinical presentation, with the aim to find and validate strategies for TB case finding in these populations. The study is based on a prospective cohort of adults and adolescents living with HIV recruited at multiple HIV testing facilities and HIV care clinics in and around Adama. The project is expected to continue for at least 4 years.

Funding:  Swedish Research Council, Region Skåne research grants, Governmental funding of clinical research within the National Health Services Sweden, and a private donation to Lund University, Sweden

3. Early life infection exposure, traditional Ethiopian food (TEF), Immunogenetics (HLA) risk of celiac disease autoimmunity in Ethiopian pediatric population. TEF birth cohort study

This is a prospective study follows children from birth to 5 years of age (2018-2023) selected from the general population in the city of Adama, the Oromia region in Central Ethiopia. The first aim is to determine the distribution of CDA related HLA and comparing it to the population with a high CD burden to identify the future risk target for CD incidence, weather the genetic or the environmental factors. The overall aim of the TEF birth cohort study is to follow the incidence of celiac disease autoimmunity (CDA) in relation to HLA genotypes, feeding practices, nutritional status, and early life infection exposures in Ethiopian children.

There are indications that a cleaner environment and adopting to Western gluten-rich dietary diets as results of food market globalization, increase the risk of autoimmune disorders like CD. There has been minimal research on CD and associated risk factors in developing countries including Ethiopia. Ethiopia has a large population and a traditional endogenous diet which is mainly gluten-free, within this extent the consumption of gluten-containing foods is also increasing. The present project will fill the gap of knowledge on autoimmune disease in particular, CD in early childhood, the genetic risk and the contribution of microbiome, early life infections contribute to the risk in Ethiopian population.

Funding: Swedish Research Council, Hkanssons Stiftelse, Pälssons Stiftelse, Swedish Celiac Disease Foundation, Region Skne FoU-medel, and SUS Stiftelser och Fonder.

4. HPV

 5. Air Pollution Study

 Air pollution and water fluoride health risk assessment among Pregnant women and their fetus, Adama, Ethiopia

 Air pollution and Fluoride water exposure and related health assessment covers several aspects of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as drinking water quality and air pollution are linked to both the natural science perspective of clean and affordable energy and climate change and health risks for women and child to the medical perspective of good health and well-being. This project aims to identify risk factors during pregnancy that could have large implication for the health of the woman and their child. It focusses on modelling the environmental pollutants level at Adama city and linking with the pregnancy complications and birth outcome from health care facilities. Additionally, drinking water fluoride exposure assessment from different water sources in Adama and around through drinking and dermal exposure is being performed. The research outputs will indicate direction for decision making on maternal mortality reduction and improvement of the health of their fetus in connection to air pollution and water quality. 

Funding:  Swedish Research Council VR, and Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI) and The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency SIDA.

ALURS staff profile

Per Björkman

Professor, MD, specialist in infection medicine 

Founder and Head of ALURS Research team manager, Professor(Lund University, Sweden), Manager, Clinical infection medicine

Researcher, EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health


Tel:+251921319679,+4640337711 ,+46768111978

Mats Jerkeman, MD, PhD

Lund University, Sweden 

Mats Jerkeman is Professor in Clinical Oncology at Lund University, Sweden. Professor Jerkeman is also Chairman of the Nordic Lymphoma Group, Vice Chair of the European Mantle Cell Lymphoma Network. His research has mainly been focused on improving the quality of life and survival of patients with malignant lymphomas. In Adama, he is responsible for a project on HPV testing for cervical cancer screening, but is also involved in projects on lymphoma diagnostics and biology in collaboration with AHRI and Tikur Anbessa Hospital.

Mesfin Araya

Administrator, Coordinator 

Economist and Economic Historian

BSc, MSc  in Economics, Lund University

Tel: +251973002323 (Ethiopia), +46736757958 (Sweden)

Adamu Megersa Geleta (MPH)

AHRI-LU: Adama Research Site Project Coordinator

Team Leader
Email:adamumegersa@yahoo.com, adamumeg2021@gmail.com
Tel: +251911398533

Adamu Megersa received his BSc (in Public Health/Health Officer in 2005) from Hawassa University and MPH (in General Public Health in 2018) from Ambo University. He attended several relevant trainings. His main research interest is in understanding the Epidemiology Transmission of Infectious Disease in Developing Countries. Currently he is a team leader of AHRI-LU: Adama Research Site at AHRI.


Bereket Assegid Tafesse

MSc in Accounting and Finance

AHRI-LU: Adama Research Site Project Admin officer


Tel: +251911759252

Bereket obtained her BA (in Accounting in 2008) from Unity University and MSc (in Accounting and Finance in 2013) from Karlstad University, Sweden. She attained different short-term training that help can be helpful in her field of qualification. Currently she is AHRI-LU: Adama Research Site Project Admin officer.


Gadissa Merga Lebeta (BSc, MBA)

AHRI-LU: Adama Research Site Data Coordinator

Email:lmgadisa@yahoo.com, lmgadisa@gmail.com

Tel: +251911913555

Gadissa Merga received his BSC (in Information Systems in 2005) from Addis Ababa University and MBA in 2015 from Rift Valley University. He worked as Health Management Information System and Planning, Smart Care System Administrator at Bishoftu Hospital for seven years. He joined Lund University Adama Reaserch Site team in January 2013 & has been working with the team to AHRI affiliation. His main interest is to learn Data Science, Cryptography.


Fregenet Tesfaye (PhD)

Associate Researcher and Postdoctoral fellow 


Tel: +251 910125124

Fregenet Tesfaye is an associate researcher and a postdoctoral fellow at AHRI. She completed her BSc (in Applied Biology in 2012 from Jigjiga University) and MSc in biomedical science from Addis Ababa University in 2015.She received the 15th Tore Godal Prize award for contribution in infectious disease research at AHRI in 2016. She received her PhD degree in clinical infectious disease from Lund University in 2022. The focus of her research wason the impact of pregnancy on the immune control of latent TB infection and identifying alternative biomarkers to diagnosis TB infection in pregnant women. Her research interest is in understanding host pathogen interaction, biomarker identification, validation and translating the research findings for ultimate clinical implication. Currently, she is working on an ongoing research cohort on TB transmission in women and their children, and households in Adama in collaboration with Lund University, Sweden.


Nahom Assegid Seifu 

BSc in Public Health

AHRI-LU: Adama Research Site Assistant Researcher


Tel: +251932195844

Nahom Assegid received his BSc in Public Health from University of Gondar in 2019. Currently working as Assistant Researcher at AHRI-LU Adama research site.


BSc in Nursing

AHRI-LU: Adama Research Site Assistant Researcher


Tel: +251911759252  

ALURS staff socializing after work


ALURS contacts

  1. Per Björkman

Email: per.bjorkman@med.lu.se
Tel: +251921319679 (Ethiopia)
       +4640337711  or +46768111978 (Sweden)

2. Mesfin Araya

Email: mesfin.araya@ekh.lu.se
Tel: +251973002323 (Ethiopia)
        +46736757958 (Sweden)

3. Adamu Megersa

Email: adamumegersa@yahoo.com, adamumeg2021@gmail.com
Tel: +251911398533