Today April 25 is World Malaria Day. We would like to highlight a malaria photography project by photographer Pearl Gan, in collaboration with OUCRU in Vietnam and EOCRU in Indonesia. Pearl's malaria project aims to bring visibility to the people and their malaria burden through her photographs of them and their environment. She hopes to humanise the faces of malaria and the malaria problem in the Asia-Pacific to audiences unfamiliar with it.
Posted 27/09/2022. In this study, Sophie Yacoub and colleagues at OUCRU evaluated whether using a dynamic delta modified SOFA score might be a feasible endpoint for future therapeutic trials in dengue. They found that the delta mSOFA performed well, and was associated with requirement for organ support, duration of treatment and mortality.
Posted 08/07/2022. We have long believed most of sub-Saharan Africa to be free of Plasmodium vivax malaria due to the dominance of Duffy blood factor negativity. Recent work nonetheless reveals stable P. vivax transmission across Duffy-negative Africa, very probably causing an infection of deep organs responsible for harm of unrecognized origin. Review by Kevin Baird
Posted 30/06/2021. In a cluster-randomised trial of mass microscopic diagnostic screening and treatment for malaria in eastern Indonesia, Kevin Baird and colleagues show that the intervention had no impact on the prevalence of carriage of gametocytes infectious to mosquitoes. The findings highlight the requirement for much greater sensitivity of diagnostics for this intervention to provide benefit to communities.
Posted 28/06/2022. South Asia is a hub for typhoid fever, a biblical disease in the West. The new conjugate vaccine, which we studied and now implemented by the Nepali government, is very important for the control of typhoid fever. But well-done treatment trials with adequate sample size are also of paramount importance. By Buddha Basnyat
Posted 07/06/2022. This survey among over 1000 hospital physicians found that antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) implementation in Indonesian hospitals is challenged by institutional, contextual and diagnostic vulnerabilities. Appropriate recognition of the contextual determinants of antibiotic prescribing decision making will be critical to change physicians’ attitudes and develop context-specific AMS interventions. By Ralalicia Limato, Raph Hamers and colleagues.
Posted 01/06/2022. This review represents a first attempt at systematically assessing human antibiotic use in Indonesia in the past 20 years. Ralalicia Limato, Raph Hamers and colleagues identified critical evidence gaps in the private health care sector, and what are the health system drivers of antibiotic use. Optimisation of antimicrobial use should be a priority of the national agenda for universal health coverage.
Posted 31/05/2022. Via online-survey with 332 clinical- and laboratory- based respondents in human and animal sectors across 61 of 63 provinces, followed by face-to-face interviews and review of 10-year-literature, Ngo Thi Hoa and colleagues identified 24 reported circulating-zoonotic diseases in Vietnam. With additional One-Health surveillance on these diseases, we will understand their animal reservoir and impact on human- and animal-health.
Posted 31/03/2017. Using epidemiological and microbiological approaches and sequencing data, this study, led by Prof. Constance Schultsz of the Academic Medical Center and Assoc. Prof. Ngo Thi Hoa, shows that usage of antimicrobials in food animal production selects for antimicrobial resistant bacteria (AMRB) in animals, which increases the risk for faecal colonisation of AMRB in humans.
Posted 27/05/2022. This randomised controlled trial by Louise Thwaites and colleagues examined two different treatments for adults with tetanus. The first was spinal (intrathecal) injection of antitoxin compared to a sham (dummy) procedure (in addition to normal intramuscular injection) and showed no overall benefit. The second, comparing two types of intramuscular antitoxin (equine and human) also showed no difference between treatments
Posted 20/04/2022. Although seasonality in tuberculosis is seen on all continents, explanations have remained elusive. In a 10-year population study of TB transmission in Birmingham, UK, Timothy Walker and colleagues see seasonality only among patients linked by recent transmission, with diagnoses peaking in spring time. TB’s incubation period may thus be even shorter than hitherto understood.
Posted 19/04/2022. Jennifer Van Nuil and colleagues used a community-based participatory research approach to engage in dialogues with underserved groups at risk for hepatitis C in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We present findings from stakeholder mapping meetings held with representatives from local organizations, including the challenges and dynamics of the communities.
Posted 18/02/2022. Integrating digital health innovations to the public hospital system in Vietnam requires understanding of the local technical and regulation landscape to avoid abandonment and ensure sustainability. Duc Minh Tran and colleagues mapped the relevant policy and academic publications, providing a big picture to inform the adoption of hospital-based digital health systems in Vietnam.
Posted 01/02/2022. Pham Thanh Duy and colleagues at OUCRU have revealed the endemic circulation of fluoroquinolone-resistant extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli ST1193 in Vietnam, driven by multiple strain importations and sustained transmissions between humans. These organisms have developed resistance to multiple drugs of choice and are major causes of sepsis in neonates and bloodstream infections in adults in this setting.
Posted 26/01/2022. Though Shigella flexneri serotype 6 has been proposed as a target for vaccine development against shigellosis, it is currently understudied. Hao Chung The and colleagues analyzed the genomes of 96 bacteria isolated from Asia, and showed that this pathogen’s dominant lineage likely emerged in 1970s, and predicted that resistance against first-line antimicrobials was rare.
Posted 13/01/2022. Associate Professor Tan and colleagues demonstrated that Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is immunogenic in Vietnamese health-care workers. Neutralizing antibodies were detectable in 98.1% and 94.7% of the study participants at 14 days and month 3 after vaccination, respectively. These data are critical to informing the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Posted 19/10/2021. The search for more effective and affordable treatments for cryptococcal meningitis must go on, as results of a trial repurposing tamoxifen, a drug developed for breast cancer, found it had no effect in a trial in Vietnam, by Nguyen Thi Thuy Ngan and Jeremy Day. Although tamoxifen shows activity against Cryptococcus neoformans in vitro, there was no evidence of benefit in patients. The OUCRU team will keep looking for better treatments for cryptococcosis.
Posted 15/10/2021. Tan Le Van and colleagues showed Delta variant breakthrough infections may cause asymptomatic or mild disease, but are associated with high viral loads and low levels of vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies. The data suggested ongoing transmission had occurred between fully-vaccinated individuals. Social distancing measures remain critical to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Posted 02/09/2021. A cross-sectional survey of G6PD deficiency genotypes and phenotypes of nearly two thousand girls and women living on malarious Sumba island in eastern Indonesia assessed risk of hemolytic crisis with primaquine therapy against latent malaria with G6PD screening technologies. These findings by Kevin Baird and colleagues will help guide the selection of G6PD screening methodology and practice.
Posted 31/08/2021. Using a simple One Health survey design, this pilot study by Juan Carrique-Mas and colleagues measured AMU in the four commonly farmed animal species in the Mekong Delta (Vietnam) and compared it to human AMU using different metrics. Lessons from this study can be used in the formulation of One Health surveillance systems.
Posted 09/07/2021. Dr Tan and his colleagues showed that only subgenogroup B1a of coxsackievirus A16, a common cause of the ongoing Hand Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic in Asia was circulating in southern Vietnam between 2011-2017. Active surveillance for viral circulation is critical to informing outbreak response and vaccine development.
This online exhibition showcases short films and photographs created by health-care workers and community members and documents the socio-cultural impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam.
Today is World Hepatitis Day. OUCRU and hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have been collaborating on hepatitis C clinical trials since 2018. Our research is centred around predictive factors for selecting persons who could be successfully treated with shorter durations of antiviral therapy. OUCRU’s social science and public engagement teams are currently working with underrepresented groups to create community-led strategies to link care and treatment for populations at risk for viral hepatitis. Our aim is to have a more significant impact on the treatment strategy and access to care for patients with hepatitis C in Vietnam and worldwide in the future.
OUCRU’s Director, Professor Guy Thwaites, has recently contributed to an analysis of antibacterial agents in preclinical and clinical development by the World Health Organisation (WHO), as part of the WHO advisory group on research and development of antibacterial treatments.
OUCRU research article titled ‘Combination of inflammatory and vascular markers in the febrile phase of dengue is associated with more severe outcomes’ was recently awarded the 2021-2022 Alexandre Yersin Prize for Outstanding Publications.
Healthcare workers and community members in Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam have been documenting their personal experiences of Covid-19. They have each made their own ‘digital diary’, using a range of creative tools and with technical support from the project team. These diaries form part of the SPEAR project: exploring the experiences and impacts of COVID-19 for healthcare workers and vulnerable communities.
Sanaria Inc. announced that two new Phase 2 trials of its pioneering malaria vaccines have started. The first is in 6- to 10-year-old children living in Bancoumana, Mali, a malarious region of West Africa. The second is in Indonesian soldiers based in Sumatra, Indonesia. The soldiers will be deploying for six to nine months this coming August to an intensely malarious district in eastern Indonesia.