Dr Thushan de Silva MBChB BSc MRCP FRCPath DTM&H PhD

Honorary Senior Clinical LecturerThushan De Silva

Department of Infection, Immunity & Cardiovascular Disease
University of Sheffield
Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX

Tel: +44 (0)114 215 9522
Email: t.desilva@sheffield.ac.uk


I completed my undergraduate medical training at the University of Bristol in 2000. Following postgraduate clinical training in General Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases and HIV in Oxford and London, I moved to Sheffield for higher specialist training in Infectious Diseases & Microbiology in 2004. I was awarded a British Infection Society Research Fellowship (2007-8), followed by an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship (2008 – 11) under the supervision of Professor Sarah Rowland-Jones (Oxford) and Professor Robin Weiss (UCL) to study the pathogenesis of HIV-2 infection, based primarily at the MRC (UK) Laboratories, The Gambia.

I joined the University of Sheffield in 2013 as an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases & Microbiology and was awarded an Academy of Medical Sciences starter grant to undertake pilot studies of live attenuated influenza vaccination (LAIV) in adult volunteers. Data generated during these lead to the successful award of a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship in 2016 to be undertaken between Imperial College London, MRC (UK) Laboratories, The Gambia, Public Health England laboratories in Colindale and the University of Sheffield.

I am an Honorary Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Research Interests:

My main interest is the study of anti-viral immune responses in the context of both vaccination and natural infection. Building on skills gained during my PhD, which focused on HIV-specific humoral and T-cell correlates of protection from disease progression in HIV-2 infection, my current focus is on detailed systemic and mucosal immunogenicity studies of LAIV in Gambian children using a systems vaccinology approach, including interactions with the host nasopharyngeal microbiome.

I also maintain an ongoing interest in HIV-2 pathogenesis and the molecular epidemiology of HIV and HTLV-1 in West Africa.

Teaching Interests:

I am involved in delivering the undergraduate (MBChB) Infectious Diseases, Tropical Medicine and Microbiology curriculum at the University of Sheffield. I am also co-organiser of the Sheffield Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) course that prepares candidates to sit the Royal College of Physicians DTM&H examination.

Professional Activities:

  • Specialist Advisory Committee in Infectious Diseases (Royal College of Physicians) - Trainee representative (2012 – 2014).
  • British Infection Association Council – Trainee representative (2012 – 2014).
  • Joint Colleges Infection Training Working Group – Trainee representative (2012 – 2014).
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
  • Member of the British HIV Association, British Infection Association and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Current Projects:

  1. Immunogenicity of intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccination (LAIV) and bidirectional interactions with the host microbiome (Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship 2016 – 2020).
  2. An investigation into subtle cellular immune defects which may result in increased susceptibility to pneumococcal infection in HIV patients, even following CD4 immune reconstitution secondary to antiretroviral therapy (with the Florey institute, Sheffield).
  3. Analysis of the immune response to Fendrix (an MPL-adjuvanted vaccine) as compared to double-dose Engerix B in HIV-infected non-responders to standard Hepatitis B vaccination courses (British HIV Association Research Award 2013).


  1. Fryer HR, van Tienen C, van der Loeff MS, Aaby P, da Silva ZJ, Whittle H, Rowland-Jones SL & de Silva TI (2015) Predicting the extinction of HIV-2 in rural Guinea-Bissau. AIDS.
  2. Jayasooriya S, de Silva TI, Njie-jobe J, Sanyang C, Leese AM, Bell AI, McAulay KA, Yanchun P, Long HM, Dong T, Whittle HC, Rickinson AB, Rowland-Jones SL, Hislop AD & Flanagan KL (2015) Early Virological and Immunological Events in Asymptomatic Epstein-Barr Virus Infection in African Children. PLoS Pathogens, 11(3), 1-18.
  3. de Silva TI, Peng Y, Leligdowicz A, Zaidi I, Li L, Griffin H, Blais ME, Vincent T, Saraiva M, Yindom LM, van Tienen C, Easterbrook P, Jaye A, Whittle H, Dong T & Rowland-Jones SL (2013) Correlates of T-cell-mediated viral control and phenotype of CD8(+) T cells in HIV-2, a naturally contained human retroviral infection. Blood, 121(21), 4330-4339.
  4. de Silva TI, van Tienen C, Onyango C, Jabang A, Vincent T, Loeff MF, Coutinho RA, Jaye A, Rowland-Jones S, Whittle H, Cotten M & Hué S (2013) Population dynamics of HIV-2 in rural West Africa: comparison with HIV-1 and ongoing transmission at the heart of the epidemic. AIDS, 27(1), 125-134.
  5. de Silva TI, Aasa-Chapman M, Cotten M, Hue S, Robinson J, Bibollet-Ruche F, Sarge-Njie R, Berry N, Jaye A, Aaby P, Whittle H, Rowland-Jones S & Weiss R (2012) Potent Autologous and Heterologous Neutralizing Antibody Responses Occur in HIV-2 Infection across a Broad Range of Infection Outcomes. Journal of Virology, 86(2), 930-946.
  6. van Tienen C, de Silva TI, Alcantara LC, Onyango CO, Jarju S, Gonçalves N, Vincent T, Aaby P, Whittle H, Schim van der Loeff M & Cotten M (2012) Molecular epidemiology of endemic human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 in a rural community in Guinea-Bissau. PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 6(6), e1690.
  7. van Tienen C, McConkey SJ, de Silva TI, Cotten M, Kaye S, Sarge-Njie R, da Costa C, Gonçalves N, Parker J, Vincent T, Jaye A, Aaby P, Whittle H & Schim van der Loeff M (2012) Maternal proviral load and vertical transmission of human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 in Guinea-Bissau. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses, 28(6), 584-590.
  8. de Silva T, Leligdowicz A & Rowland-Jones S (2012) Effect of HIV-2 infection on HIV-1 disease progression. N Engl J Med, 367(20), 1961-1962.
  9. Daigneault M, De Silva TI, Bewley MA, Preston JA, Marriott HM, Mitchell AM, Mitchell TJ, Read RC, Whyte MK & Dockrell DH (2012) Monocytes regulate the mechanism of T-cell death by inducing Fas-mediated apoptosis during bacterial infection. PLoS Pathog, 8(7), e1002814.
  10. Sabbah S, Jagne YJ, Zuo J, de Silva T, Ahasan MM, Brander C, Rowland-Jones S, Flanagan KL & Hislop AD (2012) T-cell immunity to Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus: recognition of primary effusion lymphoma by LANA-specific CD4+ T cells. Blood, 119(9), 2083-2092.
  11. Peterson I, Togun O, de Silva T, Oko F, Rowland-Jones S, Jaye A & Peterson K (2011) Mortality and immunovirological outcomes on antiretroviral therapy in HIV-1 and HIV-2-infected individuals in the Gambia. AIDS, 25, 2167-2175.
  12. de Silva TI, Turner R, Hué S, Trikha R, van Tienen C, Onyango C, Jaye A, Foley B, Whittle H, Rowland-Jones SL & Cotten M (2010) HIV-1 subtype distribution in the Gambia and the significant presence of CRF49_cpx, a novel circulating recombinant form. Retrovirology, 7, 82.
  13. de Silva TI, Cotten M & Rowland-Jones SL (2008) HIV-2: the forgotten AIDS virus. Trends Microbiol, 16(12), 588-595.
  14. Rowland-Jones S & de Silva T (2008) Resisting immune exhaustion in HIV-1 infection. PLoS Med, 5(5), e103.


  1. Moysi E, de Silva T & Rowland-Jones S (2011) Immune Mechanisms of Viral Control in HIV-2 Infection In Pancino G, Silvestri G & Fowke K (Ed.), Models of Protection Against HIV/SIV (pp. 293-307). Academic Press.