Research Highlights

The breadth of viruses in human semen

The breadth of viruses in human semen

Posted 05/12/2017

Zika virus RNA is frequently detected in the semen after Zika virus infection. To learn more about persistence of viruses in genital fluids, Dr Alex Salam and Professor Peter Horby searched PubMed and found evidence that 27 viruses can be found in human semen. This may have implications for the risk of sexual transmission, embryonic infection, congenital disease, miscarriage, and infection transmission models.

Statistical methods to estimate efficacy of anti-malarials for uncomplicated malaria

Statistical methods to estimate efficacy of anti-malarials for uncomplicated malaria

Posted 28/11/2017

Prabin Dahal reviewed the evolution of statistical methods used to understand and define antimalarial drug efficacy in uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria. The article gives a thorough insight into the historical practices and critically reviews the challenges and limitations associated with current approaches and offers alternative methodologies leading to improved study design and analysis.

Estimating the burden of scrub typhus

Estimating the burden of scrub typhus

Posted 21/11/2017

Scrub typhus is a serious mite-transmitted and difficult-to-diagnose infectious disease increasingly recognised as a major treatable cause of febrile illnesses with a wider distribution beyond Asia. Despite many limitations on the amount and quality of available reports to date, scrub typhus remains a severely underappreciated tropical disease, deserving more attention.

Drama as a community engagement strategy for malaria in rural Cambodia

Drama as a community engagement strategy for malaria in rural Cambodia

Posted 15/11/2017

Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah and colleagues published a paper on the evaluation of a community engagement project using drama in Western Cambodia. They demonstrated that the project was feasible in promoting awareness of malaria prevention and control. Audience members perceived drama as entertaining and as the preferred choice of engagement activity.

The eBioKit, a stand-alone educational platform for bioinformatics

The eBioKit, a stand-alone educational platform for bioinformatics

Posted 07/11/2017

Bioinformatics skills have become essential for many research areas and building these skills has many challenges. Dr Etienne de Villiers and colleagues develop the eBioKit as a stand-alone bioinformatics educational and research platform that hosts numerous tools and databases for both bioinformatics research and training in a controlled environment

Antimicrobial resistance among children in sub-Saharan Africa

Antimicrobial resistance among children in sub-Saharan Africa

Posted 31/10/2017

Antimicrobial resistance is a clear and present threat to international health. Dr Phoebe Williams and Professor Jay Berkley reviewed recent data on antimicrobial resistance among children in sub-Saharan Africa since 2005. Research needs to focus on reporting community versus hospital-acquired infections, including patient outcomes, and needs pragmatic clinical trials.

No clinical benefit of empirical antimicrobial therapy for pediatric diarrhea

No clinical benefit of empirical antimicrobial therapy for pediatric diarrhea

Posted 25/10/2017

Professor Stephen Baker recruited more than 3,000 children with severe diarrhoea in high usage, high resistance settings in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He found that antimicrobial usage did not result in reducing the time of symptoms, and actually prolonged it in most cases.

Quantification of the association between malaria in pregnancy and stillbirth

Quantification of the association between malaria in pregnancy and stillbirth

Posted 17/10/2017

P falciparum and P vivax malaria in pregnancy both increase stillbirth risk, which is likely to increase as endemicity declines. A study by SMRU and University of Melbourne researchers shows that better P falciparum malaria control efforts could prevent up to 1 in 5 to 8 stillbirths in sub-Saharan Africa.

Local, national, and regional viral haemorrhagic fever pandemic potential in Africa

Local, national, and regional viral haemorrhagic fever pandemic potential in Africa

Posted 13/10/2017

In a paper published in The Lancet this week (12th October 2017), Professor Peter Horby outlines potential epidemics in Africa. It is difficult to predict when and where new epidemics might occur so we can be better prepared and have a proactive response. This modelling is based on information on each virus as well as governance, communication, ...

Severe childhood malnutrition

Severe childhood malnutrition

Posted 10/10/2017

Severe malnutrition remains common in low-income countries, principally among young children. It usually arises from poor sanitation and infections, besides food insecurity. This comprehensive review by Professor James Berkley describes how research is needed, using modern clinic and laboratory tools, to better understand changes in metabolism, infections and the immune system to improve treatment.