Department of Virology


Dr. Adedayo O. FANEYE
Ag. Departmental Head


Department of Virology (formerly Virus Research Laboratory), was established in 1963 with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to the University of Ibadan but full research activities began in the laboratory in 1964.

Initially, the laboratory was run principally by the Rockefeller Foundation staff who were as secondment to the University of Ibadan.  The initial senior staff Establishment of seven was later supplemented by three from the University College Hospital.  In 1982, the Laboratory became a fully-fledged Department of the University for the postgraduate training in virology.

The activities of the Department of Virology were initially directed towards the surveillance and study of viruses transmitted to man and animals by insects vectors.  Some of the viruses were identical with previously described viruses, while the larger proportion of these isolate were new and hitherto not described in Nigeria, Africa or the world. Eleven of these first in the world viruses were named by the International Committee on Naming and Taxonomy of Viruses after places in Nigeria where samples that yielded the viruses were collected. The viruses include Shamonda virus, Sango virus, Kotonkan virus, Abadina virus, Ife virus, Ilesha virus, Dugbe virus, Sabo virus, Igbo-Ora virus, Potiskum virus and Lassa fever virus.

The Department played a major role in the investigation and confirmation of major epidemics of yellow fever which occurred in 1969, 1973/74 and 1986/87 as well as epidemics of the Lassa fever in Nigeria.  The Department was actively involved in the investigation of the 1974 pandemic of influenza, and was accordingly recognized by WHO as one of WHO National Influenza Centres.

In addition to the viruses mentioned above, investigations had been carried out in the Department on influenza, poliomyelitis, African swine fever, measles, HIV/AIDS, HBV, HCV, rubella, avian influenza, dengue and other arboviral fevers.

Research on molecular epidemiology of HIV (1985 to date) in the Department has led to the discovery of a new variant of the virus (HIV -1 1bNg – for Ibadan) in Nigeria. The virus was later found to be the predominant strain of HIV 1 in the West and Central African sub-Regions.  The virus is now the prototype strain for development of HIV vaccine for West Africa.  The project has also led to detection and distribution pattern of the circulating HIV-1 subtypes in Nigeria as well as the pattern of HIV drug polymorphism and resistance to HIV drugs in the country.  Data from these HIV research projects in the Department have impacted policy on HIV testing protocol and drug combination strategies for use in the country.

The Ibadan National Polio laboratory has been handling isolation and stereotyping of polioviruses from Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) specimens collected from all the states of the Federation since 1998 and since year 2005 the laboratory has been carrying out the intratypic diffentiation test of the isolated viruses from the Federal Capital territory and 26 states of Nigeria into Wild and Sabin.  This information is used to guide the immunization programme in Nigeria which is an integral part of the global polio eradication initiative.

 So far, the laboratory has isolated the following number of wild polio viruses  

Year 2005 = 580 WPVs

Year 2006 = 448 WPVs

Year 2007 = 145 WPVs

Year 2008 = 452 WPVs

Year 2009 = 259 WPVs

Year 2010 =   27 WPVs

Year 2011 =   32 WPVs

Year 2012 =   65 WPVs

Year 2013 =   5 WPVs (As at 16/08/2013)

All the above wild polioviruses have been sequenced and put on the tree of life in the custody of the World Health Organization in Geneva.  The polioviruses in Nigeria belong to the genotype WEAFB. In addition, Ibadan Polio laboratory has also detected some vaccine derived polioviruses (having >1% nucleotide sequence divergence from the Sabin parental strain) from AFP samples.

The Department of Virology, University of Ibadan is designated as WHO reference centre’s for arboviruses and influenza, the National Polio Laboratory, HIV Reference Laboratory and recently Avian Influenza Reference laboratory in Nigeria.

On teaching, the Department has been very active in undergraduate and postgraduate training of medical, dental and microbiology students, postgraduate Physicians, Masters/Ph.D students and post-doctoral candidates. To date, the Department has produced 24 Ph.D. and about 150 Master’s graduates in virology.


Current Head of Department

Dr. Georgina N. Odaibo

Past Heads of Department

Prof. R.O Causey                        1962 -1968

Prof. E.D. Carey                          1968-1973

Prof. A. Fabiyi                              1973-1979

Prof. TAM David-West                 1979-1984

Prof. O. Tomori                            1984-1986, 1991-1993

Prof.  A.H. Fagbami                     1987-88, 1994

Prof. O.D. Olayele                       1994-1996, 1998-2001, 2004-2008

Prof. F.D. Adu                              1996-1998, 2001-2004

Dr. J.A. Adeniji                             2008 – 2011

Dr. Georgina N. Odaibo               2012  - 2014


The Department has 9 academic staff comprising one Professor, one Reader, one Senior Lecturer, six Lecturers and 15 technical staff.

Teaching and research facilities

There are 6 laboratories (Tissue culture, Serology, Molecular Virology, Polio, Enterovirus Environmental surveillance, Entomology and HIV), one class room, one reading room and two seminar rooms for training of both undergraduate and postgraduate student in the Department.


1.Sponsor: STEP-B Project

 PI: Professor O.D. Olaleye

Co-Investigators: Drs Georgina Odaibo, Idowu Cadmus and O. Oluwayelu

2. Sponsor: World Health Organization & Federal Ministry of Health

 Director: Dr. J.A. Adeniji

3. Sponsor: University of Ibadan Senate Research Grant

 PI: Dr. M.O. Adewumi

4. Sponsor: NIH Linked MEPIN award from the Fogarty International Center.

 PI: Mrs. A.O. Faneye

5. Sponsor: NIH Linked MEPIN award from the Fogarty International Center.

 PI: Dr. A.B. Onoja

6. Olayinka O and Opayele VA,  National Institute of Health (NIH) linked Medical  Education Partnership Initiative in Nigeria (MEPIN) Year 04 Mentored Seed Award from the Fogarty International Centre (2014).

7. Faneye A, Olusola BA, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan Mentored Research Grant for Junior Academic Staff (2014).

8. Title: Isolation and phylogeny of rift valley fever virus from mosquitoes, ruminants and livestock workers in Oyo and Osun states, Nigeria.

College of Medicine, University of Ibadan Mentored Research Grant for Junior Academic Staff (2014).

PI: Mr. VA Opayele



Polio Eradication Program


RSV Study

Environmental Surveillance


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported APIN program

PEPFAR treatment Program



Mobile Laboratory (Cy-lab) for community studies


Collaboration on HIV research


Arbovirus research


Arbovirus, influenza virus research


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