The Atlas of Human Infectious Diseases provides a practical and visual overview of the current distribution and determinants of major infectious diseases of humans. The maps are accompanied by a concise summary of key information on the infectious agent and its clinical and epidemiological characteristics. The Atlas has been edited by Prof Peter Horby and Prof Heiman Wertheim, and is freely available online or to buy in print from Wiley-Blackwell.
Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks, says the World Health Organization. A partnership between Oxford University and the Wellcome Trust is now visiting sites in the three affected African countries to identify which treatment centres would be adequate and willing to start testing drugs soon.
On 26 Sept, SMRU Director Francois Nosten was made an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London in recognition for all of his and SMRU’s work in the field of maternal health. Nick White, MORU Chairman for South East Asia, was also made a Fellow but couldn’t attend the ceremony.
Investigatory Ebola treatments are to be tested in West Africa for the first time as part of an international initiative to fast-track trials of the most promising drugs, for the disease that has already led to over 2,600 deaths. A £3.2 million grant from the Wellcome Trust will enable multiple partners around the world to quickly establish clinical trials at existing Ebola treatment centres.
The new MORU website is now live and features improved functionality and content. The site is available at the previous address:www.tropmedres.ac/home
There is currently no international law or body that can organise the detection and prevention of fake medicines - and it's a critical threat to our ability to fight deadly diseases
A programme led by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science, Malaria Atlas Project and the NDM Eijkman Oxford Clinical Research Unit (EOCRU) in Jakarta, has recently won the Google Impact Challenge 2014. EOCRU is a subunit of the Wellcome-Oxford Major Overseas Programme based in Viet Nam, which is part of NDM Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health. The prize is £500K to develop the project which will, over the next three years, create a smartphone app and a range of wearable acoustic detectors to detect the sound of mosquitoes. The group will then equip villagers in rural Indonesia with the novel technology.
Congratulations to Dr Faith Osier, a research scientist in the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kenya and honorary NDM Fellow, on winning the Royal Society Pfizer Prize for 2014. Dr Osier has been recognised for her leading work on understanding the development of immunity to malaria, particularly in children, in endemic disease areas. This work is important in contributing to the search for malaria vaccines. Dr Osier was also recently awarded the prestigious African Research Leader Award from the UK Medical Research Council (MRC)/Department for International Development (DfID).
Studies published by Oxford University researchers report promising results in developing new drugs and vaccines against malaria. Researchers based in Thailand have reported the spread of parasites resistant to our best anti-malarial drug, artemisinin. Meanwhile, scientists in another overseas research programmes in Kenya have identified a number of new malaria vaccine candidates. While neither set of results will provide a solution in the short term, it does show there are a range of efforts in the pipeline that are showing potential against this most difficult of parasites to tackle.
The Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) has published results in the New England Journal of Medicine, showing that drug-resistant malaria parasites have spread to critical border regions of Southeast Asia. NDM Professor Nicholas White, chair of MORU and WWARN, has stated that ‘we will need to take more radical action and make this a global public health priority, without delay.' If we are not able to contain these parasites, it is possible that resistance will spread into malaria endemic regions of Africa and could derail the global drive to control and eventually eliminate malaria altogether.