25 July 2019
KWTRP has launched a dataset of comprehensive public health facilities from 50 countries in sub- Saharan Africa. This new dataset locates health facilities in relation to the communities they are intended to serve, to help ensure that services are accessible to the right populations and that no one is geographically marginalized from essential services. This is critical for attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 3 on good health and wellbeing.
24 July 2019
MORU researchers have found that severe malnutrition is associated with lower exposure to the antimalarial drug lumefantrine in children treated with artemether-lumefantrine, the most common treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria. The study, which is the first to specifically address this, calls urgently for further research into optimised dosing regimens for undernourished children.
Rapidly spreading multidrug-resistant parasites render frontline malaria drug ineffective in southeast Asia
23 July 2019
The findings of two studies, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, reveal that by 2016–2018 malaria parasites resistant to both artemisinin and its widely used partner drug piperaquine represented more than 80% of the parasites circulating in northeast Thailand and Vietnam, despite having only emerged in western Cambodia in 2008.
19 July 2019
A large clinical trial in Africa and Asia has shown that a 7 day course of high dose primaquine, a drug used to treat P. vivax malaria, is well tolerated and just as effective as the current standard 14 day regimen, according to a study published this week in The Lancet. These findings have important implications for the treatment and elimination of vivax malaria in the Asia Pacific.
17 July 2019
Medical Action Myanmar and MOCRU health teams identified a number of children with rickets in remote areas of Myanmar. MOCRU director Frank Smithuis presented the findings of clinical screening to the Minister of Health, alongside treatment results and a plan for a large survey to investigate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its underlying causes.
2 July 2019
New research by Makoto Saito and colleagues at SMRU found that a longer follow-up is required to assess antimalarial drug efficacy in pregnant women. This was found across all drugs assessed in low malaria transmission settings. The report’s authors have called for guidelines specifically for pregnant women and further investigation of optimal follow-up periods in high malaria transmission settings.
28 June 2019
IDDO’s visceral leishmaniasis (VL) collaboration is working on two new projects looking at the treatment of VL. The first is a systematic review of the literature on design and analysis of antileishmanial clinical efficacy studies, and the second is a systematic review of published studies to estimate the baseline risk of serious adverse events and mortality in patients treated with antileishmanial therapies.
14 June 2019
WWARN Researcher Debashish Das has been involved in clinical research in various settings in Asia and Africa with the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). His research efforts focus on investigating antimalarial drug resistance and finding treatment solutions for young children
12 June 2019
A ground-breaking study in Bangladesh co-lead by MORU has found that using data from mobile phone networks to track the movement of people across the country can help predict where outbreaks of diseases such as malaria are likely to occur, enabling health authorities to take preventative measures.
5 June 2019
WWARN’s Clinical Scientific Group have published research in BMC Medical Research Methodology comparing different statistical approaches for deriving cumulative estimates of drug efficacy from clinical studies. Results indicate that the Cumulative Incidence Function (CIF) approach should be considered as an alternative to the widely used Kaplan-Meier method for calculating efficacy estimates in high transmission areas.
24 May 2019
Avni Gupta, Communications Officer for AfOx, talks about the work of this university-wide initiative – which brings the University’s long-standing multi-disciplinary engagement with Africa under one platform
17 May 2019
IDDO Ebola Data Platform, a pioneering collaboration in Ebola and emerging infections, has today appointed nine members for its first Data Access Committee, overseen and chaired by TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, hosted at WHO.
7 May 2019
Rift Valley Fever, one of WHO priority diseases, causes abortion and malformation in livestock, as well as occasionally severe symptoms in humans. George Warimwe and colleagues at KWTRP are developing a vaccine suitable for both humans and livestock. This cross-species approach, known as “One Health”, might in the long term accelerate the design and development of vaccines, protecting human health and biodiversity too.
30 April 2019
The attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a policy priority at both global and national levels. The Sustainable Development Goals underscore the importance of health and wellbeing for all with three main objectives: equity in access to health services, access to quality health services, and protection from financial risk. In Kenya, although the government has installed UHC as a policy priority, it is still marred in misconstruction and often reduced to health financing. Researchers at KEMRI-Wellcome tracked Kenya’s progress towards UHC between 2003 and 2014 and set out recommendations to support policy makers in designing a body of UHC policy.
30 April 2019
Malaria is a leading cause of death and illness around the world. Over 200 million cases are reported every year, and more than 400 000 people die. More than 90% of cases are reported in sub-Saharan Africa. Scientists have spent decades searching for an effective vaccine. Hence the recent excitement when Malawi’s government announced it had launched a pilot programme for the world’s first malaria vaccine, RTS,S (also known as Mosquirix©), produced by the pharmaceutical company, GSK. It’s the first vaccine to demonstrate significant reduction in malaria in children. The Conversation Africa’s Ina Skosana asked immunologist Faith Osier about RTS,S.
25 April 2019
Increased funding is needed to eliminate malaria across 22 Asia-Pacific countries and save an estimated 400,000 lives, according to research published in a new collection of studies on Wellcome Open Research.
3 April 2019
How do you go about building all the skills you need at the start of your research career? Cherry Lim from our MORU unit in Bangkok, Thailand, was lucky to find a good mentor who guided her through this journey, but her own ceaseless curiosity and excitement about research were also important.
26 March 2019
Rob van der Pluijm presented encouraging findings from TRAC II trial analyses of Triple Artemisinin Combination Therapies to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria & NTDs on March 19th in Westminster at the Houses of Parliament.
Widely used malaria treatment to prevent malaria in pregnant women at risk of failing in areas where drug resistance is rising
26 March 2019
A global team of researchers, led by a research team at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), are calling for a review of drug-based strategies used to prevent malaria infections in pregnant women, in areas where there is widespread resistance to existing antimalarial medicines.
12 March 2019
In an article published in Malaria Journal, members of the WWARN Molecular Scientific and Informatics Group describe the development of WWARN’s ACT Partner Drug Molecular Surveyor. Launched in 2015, this online mapping tool supports the malaria community to track over nearly 20 years the prevalence of the molecular markers that are associated with antimalarial drug resistance.
6 March 2019
Global efforts to fight malaria have hit a plateau and new tools are needed to achieve global goals. In this context, a consortium led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health was awarded $25.3m from Unitaid (unitaid.org) to evaluate mass drug administration of ivermectin to humans and livestock in Tanzania and Mozambique, to kill the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. KWTRP Marta Maia will contribute as lead entomologist to BOHEMIA.
6 March 2019
Thanks to an AfOx Travel Grant, Sarah Hill and Nuno Faria from Oxford Department of Zoology travelled to Luanda, Angola, to sequence viruses that cause severe disease. The first genomes of Zika virus detected in patients in Angola were thus sequenced. This method can help reveal the ‘family tree’ of viruses and better understand how viruses spread across the world. The researchers have now started to sequence additional viral genomes, from dengue and yellow fever, for similar studies on these viruses.
6 March 2019
Paul Sondo, molecular parasitologist from the Clinical Research Unit of Nanora in Burkina Faso, spent the last 12 months with WWARN as a recipient of the Clinical Research and Development Fellowship. He tells us about his experience as a CRDF Fellow and how it is starting to impact on his clinical research back at the Clinical Research Unit of Nanora.
6 March 2019
Lorenz Von Seidlein tells SciDev.Net that mass drug administration as “presumptive treatment” to clear the parasite reservoir was carried out in eight villages spread across Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. By the third month, the prevalence of P. falciparum had decreased by 92 % in those villages. Over the subsequent nine months, P. falciparum infections returned but stayed well below baseline levels, showing that MDA can stop transmission of falciparum malaria and reduce its prevalence in SE Asia, where resistance to artemisinin has hampered elimination efforts.
1 March 2019
Working closely with the University of British Columbia (UBC)'s Support Program to Advance Research Capacity (SPARC), MORU Malaria Researcher Dr Katherine Plewes was recently awarded a 3-year, C$971,551 grant for her study on Evaluating the renoprotective effect of acetaminophen in pediatric severe falciparum malaria: A randomized controlled trial.
1 March 2019
IDDO launched a new global scientific collaboration dedicated to schistosomiasis and STHs with TDR (the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases). This aims to expand data re-use and collaboration and accelerate better treatment and control of these diseases, which affect more than a billion people globally.
12 February 2019
On 24-25 Jan 2019, investigators met in Bangkok to launch the Developing Triple Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (DeTACT) Project. Led by MORU and funded by UKaid and the UK Department for International Development (DfID), DeTACT is a large, 14 site trial in 8 African and 5 Asian countries that will study the efficacy, safety and tolerability of two Triple Artemisinin Combination Therapy (TACT) combinations, using combinations of existing antimalarial drugs.
8 February 2019
The International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) has been awarded £4.5 million to accelerate clinical research to prevent illness and deaths from epidemic infectious diseases. ISARIC is a world-wide, grass-roots consortium of clinical research networks, working together on epidemic infections such as pandemic influenza, Ebola, Lassa fever, and plague.
5 February 2019
A new project at KEMRI Wellcome aims to bring high throughput pathogen sequencing and predictive models in East Africa. GeMVI plans to engage health authorities and institutes, identify priority questions and fund 20 Research Fellows on locally relevant projects. GeMVI will transfer sequencing technologies, share bioinformatic methods and develop modelling capacity, as well as generate new understanding through predictive modelling and virus sequence data.
1 February 2019
In this background report for the Pathways to Prosperity Commission, Chris Paton and Naomi Muinga describe the implementation of the new OpenMRS-based system called Afya (Swahili for ‘health’) Electronic Health Management System in Machakos County in Kenya. They assess the challenges associated with implementation, and suggest some recommendations for rolling out digital methods to keep clinical records in developing countries.
18 January 2019
A recent WWARN individual patient meta-analysis has gathered 18 published and unpublished studies from Africa and Asia to explore the relationships between identified Kelch 13 mutant alleles and delayed parasite clearance. The study results show one P. falciparum specific mutant and 20 pfk13 propeller region mutant alleles are strongly associated with the slow clearance phenotype, including 15 mutations that have not been confirmed before. It was reassuring that no pfk13 alleles associated with slow parasite clearance were observed in the parasites from African studies gathered between 2000-2017.
16 January 2019
Malaria causes nearly half a million deaths worldwide every year. Ninety percent of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, where poor infrastructure limits delivery of drugs. But now there is worry that those drugs are losing effectiveness as disease strains become resistant. PBS News Hour special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from Cambodia, where scientists are researching and tracking new outbreaks.
20 November 2018
Progress against malaria has stalled, and the disease remains a significant threat to billions of people despite the expensive, decades-long efforts to contain it. In an encouraging development, MORU reported complete success in curing hundreds of patients in Southeast Asia with new three-drug combinations mixing fast-acting artemisinin with two longer-lasting drugs. It it hoped that triple therapy should become the standard for malaria treatment.
9 November 2018
A systematic review analyses the results of 177 trials conducted between 1982 and 2016, including 18,436 patients who underwent electrocardiographic evaluation during malaria clinical trials. Nick White and colleagues found that serious cardiovascular side effects, which include sudden cardiac death, are very rare in the treatment of malaria with quinoline antimalarials. The work emphasises the importance of continued pharmacovigilance with the increasing use of quinoline antimalarials in mass treatment strategies such as intermittent preventative treatment and mass drug administration.
7 November 2018
The incidence of malaria has continued to drop dramatically in remote rural villages in Myanmar after community workers trained only to detect and treat malaria began providing basic health care as well as malaria services, researchers affiliated with MOCRU, our Myanmar-Oxford Clinical Research Unit, have said.
24 October 2018
The incidence of malaria cases continued to drop dramatically in rural and remote Myanmar villages after community workers trained only to detect and treat malaria began providing basic health care as well as malaria services. Adding the health services to malaria control benefitted the villagers access to health and improved malaria services – paving the way for malaria elimination.
17 October 2018
Professor Faith Osier's TED talk, accepted in April 2018, is now published as one of few by the TED Fellows Talks. The malaria vaccine was invented more than a century ago, yet each year hundreds of thousands of people still die from the disease. How can we improve this vital vaccine? In this informative talk, Faith shows how she combines cutting-edge technology with century-old insights in the hopes of creating a new vaccine that would eradicate malaria once and for all.
28 September 2018
In this Science blog, field researchers, Dr Giacomo Zanello, Dr Marco Haenssgen, Ms Nutcha Charoenboon and Mr Jeffrey Lienert explain the importance of continuing to improve survey research techniques when working in rural areas of developing countries.
12 September 2018
Dr Myo Maung Maung Swe and Htet Htet Aung from our MOCRU unit in Myanmar were awarded grants by the International Society for Infectious Diseases and Wellcome. Myo Maung will study antibiotics use and antimicrobial resistance public awareness in Myanmar; Htet Htet will conduct a study on Ethical challenges when offering pregnant women with Hepatitis B short course treatment to prevent transmission.
4 September 2018
A team of researchers led by Yoel Lubell at MORU and IDDO used data from the USA and Thailand to link the consumption of antibiotics with the direct and indirect costs of treating patients for five drug-resistant bacterial infections.
21 August 2018
The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Ho Chi Minh City is participating in a project to reduce antibiotic resistance on farms in Asia by educating farmers. Juan Carrique-Mas of the Clinical Research Unit said: “We're improving the knowledge base of farmers and vets rather than a ban on antibiotics, which would be unlikely to be complied with.”
21 August 2018
The Antibiotics and Activity Spaces project is a survey of 4,800 villagers in Thailand and Lao PDR to better understand how people access healthcare and whether there are simple early warning indicators to detect 'problematic' antibiotic use. Marco J Haenssgen and colleagues recently hosted a photography exhibition in Bangkok on rare and vivid narratives of healing in Northern Thailand.
26 July 2018
Scientists are racing to stamp out the disease in Southeast Asia before unstoppable strains spread. This article features MORU, SMRU and colleagues, and explains what is happening and what we are doing to eliminate drug-resistant malaria in Southeast Asia before it spreads
20 July 2018
A team of malaria experts from a large international research collaboration has today published results supporting the need for a radical cure strategy to tackle one of the most debilitating forms of malaria caused by the Plasmodium vivax parasite.
3 July 2018
The Infectious Disease Data Observatory and The Global Health Network have signed a Wellcome joint statement, along with the Gates Foundation, Lancet, PLOS and others, to help ensure data on the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is free to access and shared rapidly.
27 June 2018
Lessons learned from past Ebola epidemics are helping to combat a fresh outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Investing in new vaccines, diagnostic tests and laboratories is paying off as expert networks spring into action.
19 June 2018
Collecting representative survey data on large populations of people can be a very time-consuming and expensive undertaking. But it doesn’t have to be. Marco J. Haenssgen and Ern Charoenboon explain how they have used freely available satellite images to survey hard-to-reach communities in Thailand and Laos.
13 June 2018
Current recommended treatment regimens for the most widely used medicine for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria may be sub-optimal for small children and pregnant women according to a study led by Professor Joel Tarning.
8 June 2018
One of the world’s most widely used anti-malarial drugs is safe to use, say researchers, after a thorough review and analysis of nearly 200,000 malaria patients who’d taken the drug dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PPQ). There is such a low risk of sudden unexpected death from DHA-PPQ, one of the world’s most effective medicines to treat malaria, that there is no need to limit its current use.