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Pr. Souleymane Mboup

African Inventors

May, 2011
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Professor Souleymane Mboup is a renowned Senegalese scientist who holds PhDs in Bacteriology, Virology and Pharmacy. He is mostly known for having, with other scientists from the US and Europe, discovered a new HIV virus referred to as HIV-2 as opposed to HIV-1, the first virus that was discovered.


Professor Mboup was teaching microbiology at the School of Medicine and Pharmacy at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in the mid 1980s. In 1985, he brought to the United States a container with 30 vials of blood taken from Senegalese prostitutes. The blood samples were shared with the Chairman of the Harvard AIDS Institute, Max Essex. Professor Mboup's studies revealed that the blood could have been infected with a new AIDS-like virus.

Associate Professor of Pathobiology at the Harvard School of Public health, Phyllis Kanki succeeded in isolating the new HIV virus strain from the blood samples from Senegal. Professor Mboup's reputation as a top AIDS researcher took a giant leap forward since then, and especially when, together with his other scientists colleagues, they presented their early findings about the new HIV virus at the International Symposium on African AIDS held in November 1985 in Belgium.

In 1994, after an eight-year study of the Senegalese prostitutes with HIV-2, Professor Mboup and other scientists wrote an article in Science magazine showing that the HIV-2 virus was less virulent and less transmissible than HIV-1. These findings were greatly due to the determination and intelligence of an African genius who was able to use the medical skills learnt in Senegal and in France for the benefit of the African continent and the world.

Professor Mboup found a way to separate DNA from white blood cells infected with HIV-2 and was able to significantly lower the costs of the tests that confirm both HIV-1 and HIV-2 viral infections from $25 to about $0.30 in Senegal. Professor Mboup has immensely contributed in reducing the HIV infection rate in Senegal.

Professor Mboup leads one of the most advanced diagnostic laboratories in Africa, the Laboratory of Bacteriology and Virology at Le Dantec Hospital in Dakar.

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