Research Highlights

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.

Infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei – immune correlates of survival in acute melioidosis

Infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei – immune correlates of survival in acute melioidosis

Posted 04/10/2017

Melioidosis is a neglected tropical disease estimated to kill 89,000 people a year across tropical regions and a vaccine is urgently required. In this collaboration with Imperial College, Professor Susanna Dunachie report for the first time a link between people with the HLA-B*46 genotype and around a three-fold increased risk of death. Survival from melioidosis is correlated with immune responses to nine key proteins from the causative bacteria, Burkholderia pseudomallei. This gives the foundation for development of an effective vaccine.

Community engagement for the rapid elimination of malaria

Community engagement for the rapid elimination of malaria

Posted 26/09/2017

Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah and colleagues published a paper describing their experience and challenges engaging with communities involved in the Targeted Malaria Elimination initiative in Karen State, Myanmar. The report gives a detailed account of the activities conducted and challenges encountered which included difficulties explaining concepts like drug resistance and submicroscopic infection.

Unsupervised primaquine for the treatment of Plasmodium vivax malaria relapses in southern Papua

Unsupervised primaquine for the treatment of Plasmodium vivax malaria relapses in southern Papua

Posted 20/09/2017

Ric Price shows that that primaquine is substantially less effective for preventing relapses of vivax malaria in real-world practice than is predicted by clinical efficacy trials and that this is a likely consequence of incomplete adherence to treatment. Efforts to improve adherence to primaquine and to develop alternative drugs with shorter dosing regimens and greater patient tolerability are needed to achieve the significant public health benefits of P. vivax radical cure.

How the Ebola outbreak can shape innovation in research for emerging and epidemic infections

How the Ebola outbreak can shape innovation in research for emerging and epidemic infections

Posted 13/09/2017

Amanda Rojek and Peter Horby published a review aimed at clinicians who may treat patients with Ebola Virus Disease. This review outlines advances in understanding the clinical presentation, outcomes and long term sequelae of the disease, and outlines the status of experimental vaccines and treatments.