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Milagritos D. Tapia, MD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):



HSF2, 480

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-5328


(410) 706-6205

Education and Training

Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, B.A., Biology, 1993

Cornell University Medical College, M.D., 1997

Residency, Case Western Reserve University, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Pediatrics, 1997-2000

Fellowship, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 2000-2001

Fellowship, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Vaccinology, 2001 - 2004


Dr. Tapia joined the faculty of the Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) in 2004. Her research focuses primarily on the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases in Mali and the development of vaccines to address these diseases. In conjunction with the team at CVD-Mali (Centre pour le Developpement des Vaccins - Mali), headed by Dr. Samba Sow, she has conducted and participated in the following vaccine-development activities:

  • Series of trials of meningococcal A conjugate vaccine under the sponsorship of the Meningitis Vaccine Project. This collaborative effort included investigators in The Gambia and Senegal. The studies led to the prequalification of MenAfriVac and eventually the introduction of this vaccine to the countries of the African meningitis belt.
  • Pivotal vaccine trial that demonstrated the efficacy of live, oral, pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (Rotateq) in Africa.
  • Large trial of trivalent influenza vaccine, administered to pregnant Malian women, demonstrated its efficacy in the prevention of influenza in the infants up to 6 months of age.
  • First trial in humans of a candidate vaccine against Ebolavirus.
  • Phase II trials of a candidate vaccine against Ebolavirus in Malian adults and children.

In addition to assisting in the development of these important vaccines, Dr. Tapia and the CVD-Mali team have described the epidemiology of pediatric infections with Haemophilus influenzae type b and Streptococcus pneumoniae. These data have led to the introduction of life-saving vaccines (Hib conjugate vaccine and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) into the Malian Expanded Programme on Immunization.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Mali, pediatric, epidemiology, meningococcal A, meningitis, influenza, Ebola, Ebolavirus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, vaccines, vaccine trials, infectious diseases.

Highlighted Publications

Tapia MD, Sow SO, Tamboura B, Teguete I, Pasetti MF, Kodio M, Onwuchekwa U, Tennant SM, Blackwelder WC, Coulibaly F, Traore A, Keita AM, Haidara FC, Diallo F, Doumbia M, Sanogo D, DeMatt A, Schluterman NH, Buchwald A, Kotloff KL, Chen WC, Orenstein EW, Orenstein LAV, Villanueva J, Bresee J, Treanor, J, Levine, MM. Maternal immunisation with trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine for prevention of influenza in infants in Mali: A prospective, active-controlled, observer-blind, randomised phase 4 trial. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016;16(9):1026-35.

Tapia MD, Sow SO, Haidara FC, Diallo F, Doumbia M, Enwere GC, Paranjape G, Herve J, Bouma E, Parulekar V, Martellet L, Chaumont J, Plikaytis BD, Tang Y, Kulkarni PS, Hartmann K, Preziosi MP. A phase 3, double-blind, randomized, active controlled study to evaluate the safety of MenAfriVac in healthy Malians. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Nov 15;61(Suppl 5):S507-13.

Tapia MD, Sow SO, Lyke KE, Haidara FC, Diallo F, Doumbia M, Traore A, Coulibaly F, Kodio M, Onwuchekwa U, Sztein MB, Wahid R, Campbell JD, Kieny MP, Moorthy V, Imoukhuede EB, Rampling T, Roman F, De Ryck I, Bellamy AR, Dally L, Mbaya OT, Ploquin A, Zhou Y, Stanley DA, Bailer R, Koup RA, Roederer M, Ledgerwood J, Hill AV, Ballou WR, Sullivan N, Graham B, Levine MM. Use of ChAd3-EBO-Z Ebola virus vaccine in Malian and US adults, and boosting of Malian adults with MVA-BN-Filo: a phase 1, single-blind, randomised trial, a phase 1b, open-label and double-blind, dose-escalation trial, and a nested, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016 Jul;16(1):31-42.

Tapia MD, Tennant SM, Bornstein K, Onwuchekwa U, Tamboura B, Maiga A, Sylla MB, Sissoko S, Kourouma N, Toure A, Malle D, Livio S, Sow SO, Levine MM. Invasive nontyphoidal salmonella infections among children in Mali, 2002-2014: Microbiological and epidemiologic features guide vaccine development. Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Nov 1;61 Suppl 4:S332-8.

Omer SB, Richards JL, Madhi SA, Tapia MD, Steinhoff MC, Aqil AR, Wairagkar N; BMGF Supported Maternal Influenza Immunization Trials Investigators Group. Three randomized trials of maternal influenza immunization in Mali, Nepal, and South Africa: Methods and expectations. Vaccine. 2015 Jul;33(32):3801-12.

Additional Publication Citations

Tapia MD, Sow SO, Tamboura B, Keita MM, Berthe A, Samake M, Nataro JP, Onwuchekwa UU, Penfound TA, Blackwelder WC, Dale JB, Kotloff KL. Streptococcal pharyngitis in schoolchildren in Bamako, Mali. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2015 May;34(5):463-8.

Orenstein LA, Orenstein EW, Teguete I, Kodio M, Tapia M, Sow SO, Levine MM. Background rates of adverse pregnancy outcomes for assessing the safety of maternal vaccine trials in sub-Saharan Africa. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e46638. (provided critical review of manuscript)

Sow SO, Okoko B, Diallo A, Viviani S, Borrow R, Carlone G, Tapia M, Akinsola A, Arduin P, Findlow H, Haidara F, Adegbola R, Diop D, Parulekar V, Chaumont J, Martellet L, Diallo F, Idoko O, Tang Y, Plikaytis B, Kulkarni P, Marchetti E, LaForce M, Preziosi M. Immunogenicity and safety of a new meningococcal group A conjugate vaccine in West Africans. N Engl J Med 2011 Jun;364:2293-304.

Armah GE, Sow SO, Breiman RF, Dallas MJ, Tapia MD, Feikin DR, Binka FN, Steele AD, Laserson KF, Ansah NA, Levine MM, Lewis K, Coia ML, Attah-Poku M, Ojwando J, Rivers SB, Victor JC, Nyambane G, Hodgson A, Schodel F, Ciarlet M, Neuzil KM. Efficacy of pentavalent rotavirus vaccine against severe gastroenteritis in infants in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trail. Lancet. 2010 Aug; 376(9741):606-14.

Sow SO, Tapia MD, Diallo S, Keita MM, Sylla M, Onwuchekwa U, Pasetti MF, Kotloff KL, Levine MM. Haemophilus influenzae Type b conjugate vaccine introduction in Mali: Impact on disease burden and serologic correlate of protection. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2009 Jun;80(6):1033-8.

Tapia MD, Pasetti MF, Cuberos L, Sow SO, Doumbia MN, Bagayogo M, Kotloff K, Levine M. Measurement of Tetanus Antitoxin in Oral Fluid: A Tool to Conduct Serosurveys. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):819-25.

Clinical Specialty Details

Dr. Tapia's clinical specialties include pediatric infectious diseases and traveler’s health.