Tropical Medicine is a collection of research groups within the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, who are permanently based in Africa and Asia. Our research ranges from clinical studies to behavioural sciences, with capacity building integral to all of our activities.
The majority of our research is conducted at three Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programmes in Kenya, Thailand and Viet Nam. Tropical Medicine also brings together a number of sister groups in Laos, Tanzania, Indonesia and Nepal, and collaborators around the world.
Tackling infectious diseases, which kill many millions of people every year, is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. We are researching solutions to the increasingly urgent problems these diseases cause.
From his research centre in Bangkok, Dr Daniel Paris tells us about the challenges posed by Rickettsia to rural populations in South East Asia. Q: What are Rickettsia? DP: Rickettsia are gram-negative obligate intra-cellular bacteria; they live within cells, they can’t live outside cells, and they cause a disease called typhus. There are many different forms of Rickettsia, but the interesting thing about these bacteria is that they are transmitted by different vectors: they are transmitted by ticks, lice, fleas, chigger mites, all these small little etymological creatures. This makes it extremely interesting.