The young and rapidly expanding MORU cell biology group is pursuing a series of studies focusing on the cell biology of these fastidious agents, including live cell imaging (LSM), confocal microscopy and various cell culture-based studies to dissect the intricacies and dynamics of adhesion and entry, infection and replication, in both ex vivo samples from patients and in vitro experiments with isolates.
Parallel investigations into proteomics and genomics of Orientia spp. and Rickettsia spp. are mainly centered around the large-scale sequencing of pathogens found in vectors, hosts, healthy humans and febrile patients.
We are conducting genomic comparisons among various strains isolated at MORU or at LOMWRU BSL3 laboratories, with the aim to identify genes and gene products for vaccine development, diagnostic improvements and investigating virulence factors and pathogen biology.
Recently, efforts are directed to establish whether antibiotic resistance occurs in rickettsial diseases in Southeast Asia, and which alternative treatment regimens are the most effective.