Research Highlights

Clinical Trials of Therapeutics for the Prevention of Congenital Zika Virus Disease: Challenges and Potential Solutions

Clinical Trials of Therapeutics for the Prevention of Congenital Zika Virus Disease: Challenges and Potential Solutions

Posted 22/08/2017

Selecting and trialling therapeutics for preventing congenital Zika disease is challenging. The target product should be low risk, acceptable to the mother, highly effective in preventing adverse fetal outcomes, and practical for widespread clinical use in resource-limited settings. Professor Peter Horby and fellow researchers discuss strategies for addressing these challenges in a recent paper.

Effect of transmission intensity on hotspots and micro-epidemiology of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa

Effect of transmission intensity on hotspots and micro-epidemiology of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa

Posted 18/08/2017

Malaria transmission is patchy at local levels, and when a group of houses is located in a high transmission patch this is labelled a "hotspot". Looking at 19 studies in 7 African Countries, we see that hotspots are the norm, and especially prominent when malaria transmission falls.

Migration histories of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients from the Thailand-Myanmar border, 2012–2014

Migration histories of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients from the Thailand-Myanmar border, 2012–2014

Posted 14/08/2017

Through history and attributes of migration of Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis patients before diagnosis and treatment, and spatial analysis of their travelling patterns, the study highlights links between human migration and dispersal of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis across wide geographic areas. It confirms needs for interventions suited to migrants’ life circumstances.

Developing guidelines in low-income and middle-income countries: lessons from Kenya

Developing guidelines in low-income and middle-income countries: lessons from Kenya

Posted 01/08/2017

For more than a decade, Professor Mike English and his team have worked with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and professionals to develop national clinical guidelines. This paper describes how this approach has become both more rigorous and more collaborative while offering lessons to other LMIC on how to develop high quality guidelines with limited resources.

Comparative genomics of Cryptococcus neoformans associated with meningitis and HIV in Vietnam

Comparative genomics of Cryptococcus neoformans associated with meningitis and HIV in Vietnam

Posted 25/07/2017

Professor Jeremy Day and fellow researchers from OUCRU, in collaboration with colleagues from the Genome Institute Singapore, have published the first whole genome sequences of Vietnamese isolates of the yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, in an attempt to better understand the genes that enable some families of this usually accidental pathogen to cause disease in people with normal immune systems.

Online mapping database for Plasmodium vivax clinical trials

Online mapping database for Plasmodium vivax clinical trials

Posted 18/07/2017

The WWARN Vivax Surveyor provides an interactive map that summarises the prevalence and degree of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium vivax parasites across the world. This tool provides a clear and standardised visualisation of vivax clinical trials to date to inform key international, regional and national monitoring strategies.

Hospitals as complex adaptive systems: factors influencing priority setting practices in Kenya

Hospitals as complex adaptive systems: factors influencing priority setting practices in Kenya

Posted 11/07/2017

We used a qualitative approach to study how public hospitals in Kenya make resource allocation decisions. We found that these decisions were influenced by (1) scarcity of financial resources, and poorly designed financing processes, (2) limited flexibility in resource allocation decisions, and (3) inadequate management and leadership capacity in the hospitals. Read more on Improving priority settting practices in Kenya's hospitals.

Prophylactic acetaminophen or ibuprofen result in equivalent acute mountain sickness incidence at high altitude

Prophylactic acetaminophen or ibuprofen result in equivalent acute mountain sickness incidence at high altitude

Posted 30/06/2017

Acute mountain sickness is a potentially life-threatening illness for sojourners to high altitude (> 2500m). Where pharmacological prophylaxis is indicated, Diamox is the drug of choice, but it has distressing side-effects. This Everest-based, double-blind, randomized controlled trial revealed that paracetamol, like ibuprofen, could potentially replace Diamox for prophylaxis.

First-trimester artemisinin derivatives and quinine treatments and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Africa and Asia

First-trimester artemisinin derivatives and quinine treatments and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Africa and Asia

Posted 13/06/2017

It has been maintained for decades that quinine is the safest drug for treatment of malaria in the first trimester of pregnancy. In the largest analysis of data from Thailand and Africa, artemisinins are reported to be at least as safe as quinine. This will simplify treatment protocols worldwide.

New sequencing method for rotavirus from human fecal samples to help epidemiology and surveillance

New sequencing method for rotavirus from human fecal samples to help epidemiology and surveillance

Posted 30/05/2017

Rotavirus is a complex RNA virus with a genome comprised of multiple segments. The virus causes diarrhoea and extracting pure virus from stool samples limits our ability to sequence its genome. A team led by Professor Stephen Baker developed a new capture/purification method for rotavirus allowing us to perform whole genome sequencing from stool samples for the first time.