10 January 2023
A recent multidisciplinary pilot study, originating from LOMWRU and the Medicine Quality Research Group of IDDO and MORU, investigated whether bacterial, plant, fungal and animal DNA in the ingredients and from the environment (eDNA) could be detected from falsified (aka counterfeit) tablets.
23 December 2022
On 15-16 Dec, COPCOV investigators from around the world met in Bangkok to review study results and plan next steps. Led by co-PIs Prof Sir Nick White and Dr Will Schilling, and funded by the Wellcome Trust, the MORU-led COPCOV ( Chloroquine prevention of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the healthcare setting) is the world’s largest multinational trial of COVID-19 prevention.
20 December 2022
The number of studies reporting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) data has increased in Africa, South and South East Asia according to new research in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
1 December 2022
The inauguration of a new joint Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) and Borderland Health Foundation (BHF) Building took place in Mae Ramat, Thailand, this week.
Constant genetic surveillance necessary to keep multidrug-resistant malaria parasite strains in check, study finds
1 December 2022
Continually monitoring malaria parasite populations is necessary to prevent outbreaks of previously dormant multidrug-resistant malaria strains, say University of Oxford researchers. Multidrug-resistant malaria parasite strains can rapidly grow or collapse in response to public health policy changes, say the researchers in a study published today in The Lancet.
Meta-analysis informed the updated WHO guidelines for treatment of uncomplicated malaria in the first trimester of pregnancy
29 November 2022
A new WWARN meta-analysis, commissioned by the World Health Organization and which informed a change to its treatment guidelines, has been published in The Lancet. The study provides compelling evidence that artemether-lumefantrine should now replace quinine as the treatment of choice in the first trimester.
22 November 2022
Data showing 7.7 million deaths from 33 bacterial infections can guide measures to strengthen health systems, particularly in low-income settings
19 October 2022
A study of the genetic diversity of Streptococcus pneumoniae, the bacterium responsible for hundreds of thousands of infant deaths each year, found that deep sequencing whole pneumococcal populations gave unsurpassed sensitivity for detecting multiple colonisations and was twice as effective at detecting invasive virulent strains of the bacteria as current best methods, say researchers in a study published in Nature Microbiology.
Antimalarial chemoprophylaxis for forest goers could help accelerate malaria elimination in Cambodia
28 September 2022
Giving people antimalarials during and after visiting the forest reduced their risk of contracting malaria 6-fold, and could be the missing piece towards eliminating malaria in Asia-Pacific and South America, say Mahidol and Oxford University researchers in a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
30 August 2022
We are delighted to announce that four of our researchers have been awarded the title of Professor, in recognition of their research achievements, contribution to teaching, and contribution to the general work of the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford.
30 August 2022
Fetal abdomen growth and the mother’s blood fat metabolites very early in pregnancy influence a child’s weight, body fat, vision and neurodevelopment at 2 years of age
MORU hepatitis work focusses on preventing mother-to-child transmission, high-at-risk populations, and remote communities
28 July 2022
MORU Tropical Health Network researchers in Southeast Asia study various aspects of hepatitis B and C, infections that can lead to chronic liver diseases, and complications like liver cancer or cirrhosis. Researchers at MOCRU work on treatment for hepatitis C, a frequent opportunistic infection in HIV patients. MORU’s Clinical Pharmacology conducts two trials on possible treatments of hepatitis C. Hepatitis B is frequently transmitted from mother to child at birth, and SMRU researchers study mothers’ knowledge and behaviour, as well as prevention.
20 July 2022
Patients affected by COVID-19 should be treated according to the severity of their disease. However, not all key national or international organisations define severity in the same way. This imprecision in severity assessment compromises the validity of some therapeutic recommendations. Using individual patient data would better guide and improve therapeutic recommendations for COVID-19.
28 June 2022
Microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained blood films is key to quantifying and detecting malaria parasites but there can be difficulties in ensuring both a high-quality manual reading and inter-reader reliability. The EasyScan GO was developed as a potential solution to this, a microscopy device using machine-learning-based image analysis for automated parasite detection and quantification.
Enhanced vaccination against Japanese encephalitis virus could reduce encephalitis prevalence by one third in SE Asia
20 June 2022
Encephalitis is a worldwide public health issue, with a substantially high burden among children in Southeast Asia. A large study of the causes of childhood encephalitis in SE Asia suggests that enhanced and effective vaccination against the Japanese encephalitis virus alone could reduce encephalitis prevalence by one third.
Congratulations to Professor Sir David Warrell, appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George!
7 June 2022
David Warrell, MORU founding director, has been appointed by the Queen ‘Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to global Health Research and Clinical Practice’. Please join us in congratulating Sir David on receiving this richly deserved high honour!
11 May 2022
Organised by a grass-root community of thousands of scientists across the world, Pint of Science 2022 allows researchers in 25 countries and over 800 cities to share their latest findings with lay folk in interesting, informal settings. Lao PDR joined the global Pint of Science family on Monday 9 May, when the first-ever Pint of Science Laos kicked off!
Patient recruitment on track in Oxford-led DeTACT trial of safe, effective drug combinations to prevent the spread of artemisinin and multi-drug resistant malaria in Africa
25 April 2022
Today is World Malaria Day. The global fight against malaria is at a critical point. No new antimalarial drugs are expected in the near future, and if multi-drug resistant falciparum malaria becomes established in East Africa and spreads to other parts of Africa, millions will be at risk of drug-resistant malaria infection and death. The development of triple artemisinin-based combination therapies aims to prevent or delay the emergence of artemisinin and multi-drug resistant malaria in Africa.
22 April 2022
In regions where few people have received Covid-19 vaccines, health systems remain vulnerable to surges in SARS-CoV-2 infections. During the delta-wave of COVID-19 in India, for example, healthcare facilities and staff across the country struggled to cope with the surge in the number of cases of COVID-19 due to a shortage of hospital beds for people with severe cases, plus shortages of medicines and limited human resources.
24 March 2022
In 2022, tuberculosis (TB) remains a major global health problem, particularly in developing countries. On the Thai-Myanmar border, TB is an important problem among migrants, a vulnerable, very mobile population, with unstable, often difficult living conditions, insecure incomes, and poor access to health services.
TACT-CV study shows artemether–lumefantrine plus amodiaquine an effective treatment for multidrug-resistant malaria in GMS
22 March 2022
A triple artemisinin-based combination therapy (TACT) of artemether-lumefantrine plus amodiaquine (AL+AQ) for uncomplicated falciparum malaria in areas with a high prevalence of artemisinin resistance is a well-tolerated, effective treatment for multidrug-resistant parasites, say a team of MORU-led researchers.
25 January 2022
From 2002-2018, there has been a steady increase in the places and proportion of infected people reporting validated kelch13 (K13) artemisinin resistance markers, according to a study in The Lancet Microbe. This increase in artemisinin resistance threatens efforts to eliminate malaria in Asia by 2030 — and control efforts in other endemic regions. The authors say that more consistent data collection, over longer time periods in the same areas, and rapid sharing of data are needed to map the spread of resistance and better inform policy decisions.
20 January 2022
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is responsible for at least 1.27 million deaths per year — with over 97,000 deaths in 2019 in SE Asia alone, according to a study published in The Lancet by the Global Research on AntiMicrobial resistance (GRAM) project, who urged urgent action from policymakers and health communities to avoid further preventable deaths.
20 December 2021
In the 2021 Oxford Recognition of Distinction round, four MORU colleagues were awarded Full Professor title.
24 November 2021
Patients in north Africa and the Middle East are using antibiotics in sharply rising quantities far beyond the global average, raising concerns over the escalating risks of resistance to medicines to treat bacterial infections. Estimated antibiotic consumption for 204 countries between 2000 and 2018 shows a 46 per cent increase in global antibiotic usage, with a surge in nations including India and Vietnam.
19 November 2021
A downloadable resource for educators, health & research professionals to help develop young peoples’ understanding of AMR and positive actions they can take to mitigate it.
18 November 2021
To mark WHO World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, 18-24 Nov 2021, and help reduce the overuse of antibiotics, MORU researchers have released a new, easy to use online tool – Antibiotic Footprint Calculator – that could make an important contribution in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR), one of the world’s most significant emerging threats to public health.
GRAM study provides the first longitudinal estimates of global antibiotic consumption in 204 countries from 2000 to 2018
12 November 2021
Global antibiotic consumption rates increased by 46 percent in the last two decades, according to the first study to provide longitudinal estimates for human antibiotic consumption covering 204 countries from 2000 to 2018, published in Lancet Planetary Health by the Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (GRAM) Project.
11 October 2021
A series of papers which reviewed portable devices to detect poor quality medicines has concluded major gaps in scientific evidence remain a key barrier for regulators to implement surveillance systems using such devices.
22 September 2021
Every year, the Nuffield Department of Medicine awards NDM Prizes to our most outstanding students. This year, Mo yin and Rebecca Inglis (both at MORU) were highly commended in the category NDM Overall Prize, for conducting research with an outstanding impact. Will Schilling (MORU) received a prize as first year DPhil student, and Mohammad Ali (NDM-CGHR) as second year DPhil student. Our warmest congratulations to you all!
New study alerts to the risk of poor quality medicines used to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease
21 September 2021
There are important but neglected issues with substandard and falsified medicines and medical products used to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. From limited available data, MORU and IDDO scientists found about one fifth of medicines reported as sampled in the literature were substandard or falsified. This systematic review suggests that more and better quality data and data sharing are needed to better understand the global burden of this problem and inform interventions.
14 September 2021
Following the meeting of the Medical Sciences Divisional Committee to consider applications for the conferral of the title of Associate Professor, we are pleased to announce that Rashan Haniffa, Dorcas Kamuya, Isabella Oyier, Le Van Tan and Timothy Walker have been awarded the title Associate Professor
30 July 2021
A 6-week recruitment burst at Aga Khan University in Pakistan led the way as COPCOV enrolment broke 1600 participants. Led by MORU, COPCOV is the world’s largest trial trying to determine if hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine prevent COVID-19.
21 July 2021
An international team, led by Phaik Yeong Cheah, conducted an anonymous online survey from May-June 2020, asking 5,058 people in Thailand, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Italy and Slovenia to share their experiences. Anne Osterrieder and colleagues report the unequal impacts of public health measures, and the prevalence of ‘fake news’.
9 July 2021
As high COVID-19 daily cases and highly transmissible variants risk overwhelming countries’ healthcare systems, COPCOV, the world’s last-standing large prophylaxis RCT, faces tight timelines to determine whether chloroquine/ hydroxychloroquine prevents COVID-19
8 July 2021
About one-third of children diagnosed with severe malaria may instead have an alternative cause of illness, but simple blood tests could help researchers distinguish between the two and speed up research on new treatments.
8 June 2021
Malaria continues to be a major killer, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations with more than 500,000 deaths per year, most of them African children. Emergence of resistance to antimalarial drugs is major public health issue. American Society for Microbiology Editor Dr Cesar Arias discusses with Professor Sir Nick White the latest information on this rapidly evolving field.
19 May 2021
Which infections are most common in the Chiangrai region? How should we treat them and how can we improve diagnostic? Which strategies are most effective in directing antibiotic treatment? Blog by Carlo Perrone, research physician based at the Chiang Rai Clinical Research Unit in Chiangrai, Thailand.
12 May 2021
"Although it is hard to look beyond the pandemic right now," says President of the Academy of Medical Sciences Professor Dame Anne Johnson, "I want to stress how important it is that the Academy Fellowship represents the widest diversity of biomedical and health sciences. The greatest health advances rely on the findings of many types of research, and on multidisciplinary teams and cross-sector and global collaboration."
7 May 2021
Live and on-line from Bangkok! Be ready for Thursday 13th May, when Pint of Science Thailand will stream live from Bangkok. Join us via Facebook, YouTube or right here from the Pint of Science Thailand website as we journey from bacterial infections to viruses, discover how clinical trials work, and how scientific development is seen in the eyes of the law!
25 April 2021
For World Malaria Day 2021, F1000 Research Blog spoke to Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah about her research focussed on drama and arts-based community engagement for malaria research, published with Wellcome Open Research.
New project’s child-appropriate primaquine doses could have significant impact on global burden of malaria
23 April 2021
On Sunday 25 April, World Malaria Day, the Developing Paediatric Primaquine (DPP) project will launch its website. DPP will produce children-appropriate primaquine doses that could both cut malaria deaths in vulnerable African children by blocking transmission of P. falciparum malaria and reduce P. vivax malaria more widely.
16 March 2021
The Medicine Quality Research Group has published a new Medical Product Quality Report focussing on increasing issues around substandard and falsified (SF) COVID-19 vaccines. With the implementation of the key innovations of COVID-19 vaccines, there have been growing numbers of reports of SF vaccines in the public domain. Given the vital role they will play in ending the pandemic and protecting the global population but severe issues with equitable access, SF vaccines are highly likely to be a growing problem.
Indonesia’s decision to prioritise COVID-19 vaccination to citizens aged 18-59 years old questionable
2 February 2021
The Indonesian government policy to exclude the elderly in the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program could hinder the vaccine’s impact in lowering mortality rates. COVID-19 mortality rates in Indonesia, the highest in Southeast Asia, are dominated by those in the 60 years and above age bracket. In this article published in The Conversation, Kartika Saraswati and fellow DPhil students elaborate how, by prioritising vaccination for elderly, Indonesia may optimally reduce the hospital burden and COVID-19 deaths amidst a limited vaccine supply during the first vaccination phase.
13 January 2021
A study to explore the variations of how microscopy methods are reported in published malaria studies has recommended standardised procedures should be implemented for methodological consistency and comparability of clinical trial outcomes.
7 December 2020
Blog by Rima Shretta. Preliminary efficacy results from three vaccine candidates currently in Phase 3 trials have shown an efficacy of more than 90% against the development of symptomatic COVID-19. While these results are promising, all vaccines are in relatively early stages of testing. A comprehensive and transparent roadmap is urgently needed, to determine how limited doses of the first vaccines to be licensed will be distributed, together with which groups will initially be prioritized.