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Geospatial modelling study highlights Indian regions with treatment-resistant malaria parasites

MORU Bangkok

An updated systematic search and review of published information from over 4,000 malaria samples has identified areas in central, eastern and north-eastern India where treatment-resistant malaria parasites could be more prevalent.

Rapid diagnostic test offers cost-effective solutions for non-malarial febrile illness

MORU Bangkok

New research by the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, explores the potential benefits of a presumptive lateral flow rapid diagnostic test in managing acute non-malarial febrile illness (NMFI) patient care in rural areas of Southeast Asia.

New rapid test for melioidosis could diagnose patients in hours, and help save lives across Asia and the tropics

MORU Bangkok

Researchers have found that a new test using a CRISPR-Cas12a system (CRISPR-BP34) diagnosed patients with melioidosis, an often-fatal tropical disease caused by the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei, within hours, rather than days as in current bacterial culture methods, so patients could receive the correct, life-saving antibiotics faster.

Children with acute malnutrition and malaria: the double burden that increases risk of treatment failure


An analysis of over 11,000 falciparum malaria individual patient data sets has found that acutely malnourished children have a higher risk of reinfections and treatment failures, even when treated with recommended doses of artemisinin-based combination therapies, currently the best malaria treatment available. The malaria parasite clearance was also likely to be longer in these children.

New study uses isotope ratio mass spectrometry to analyse origins of falsified antimalarials


New work from the Medicine Quality Group at IDDO and MORU pilots the use of stable isotope mass spectrometry to estimate where falsified antimalarials and their components come from. The study, published in Scientific Reports, is a collaboration between the Medicine Quality Research Group, LOMWRU, and MORU Bangkok, working with stable isotope scientists in Utah, USA.

Repurposed tests can detect falsified vaccines, study finds


Researchers have found that widely available rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), typically used for common infections, can be repurposed to detect substandard and falsified (SF) vaccines, a significant but overlooked issue in global public health. Preliminary data suggests RDTs could be utilized by international organizations and regulators to screen vaccine supply chains for falsified products. This innovative approach addresses the urgent need for affordable tools to combat the threat of SF vaccines.

GRAM study reveals rising antimicrobial resistance in enteric fever across 75 countries, affecting millions


Findings reveal resistance patterns for a priority pathogen--also known as typhoid fever--with high mortality and morbidity in resource-constrained settings

Book chapter highlights issues of poor-quality medical products during the global pandemic

MORU Bangkok

MORU' and IDDO’s Medicine Quality Research Group (MQRG) have written a chapter in a new book which examines the global issue of substandard and falsified medical products.

Advancing lab analysis of simulated samples, crucial to developing forensic techniques, is focus of FORESFA Trentino workshop

Conferences & meetings

The FORESFA project's laboratory group met for a workshop in Trentino, Italy, with participants from Oxford, Edinburgh, London, and Vienna. The workshop focused on advancing the analysis of simulated samples, which are crucial to developing forensic techniques to analyse falsified medical products. Challenges in data integration, collaboration with external experts, and a workflow for the first pilot analysis of falsified samples were discussed.

Anomaly detection improves real-time dengue surveillance in Thailand

MORU Bangkok

A recent study by the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) at NDM outlined a highly effective method for dengue surveillance. The researchers improved risk detection in real time by combining space-time modelling and anomaly detection. This will help in making dengue prevention more effective not only in Thailand but also in other regions with similar challenges.

High dose oral favipiravir does not accelerate COVID-19 viral clearance, Oxford researchers find

MORU Bangkok

Giving high oral doses of the anti-influenza drug Favipiravir to adults with early symptomatic COVID-19 treatment did not accelerate viral clearance, say researchers in a study published in BMC Infectious Diseases. In fact, there was no difference in the rate of viral clearance between patients given favipiravir and patients receiving no study drug.

Neglected disease raises new ethical questions: Nipah virus control and research

MORU Bangkok

Although Nipah virus gets increasing attention in epidemic preparedness, there has been almost no bioethical work on the epidemiology, prevention, and treatment. Further work on public health ethics should address communication about the modes of transmission, surveillance, measures during epidemics, and social or religious norms, as well as potential vaccine trials and the different local contexts where trials may occur, and the use of unproven therapeutics during outbreaks. Further bioethics work may help to ensure that research and public health interventions for Nipah virus disease are ethically acceptable and more likely to be effective.

Early warning systems for malaria outbreaks in Thailand

MORU Bangkok

In a recent study, NDM’s Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) researchers introduced an anomaly detection system, as an early warning mechanism for potential malaria outbreaks in countries like Thailand.

Placing community health workers in remote areas key to eliminating Falciparum malaria in Myanmar and GMS


Medical Action Myanmar successfully eliminated falciparum malaria in Eastern Myanmar within six years, employing 172 community health workers for early diagnosis and treatment. Their approach, integrating basic health services with malaria care, led to a rapid reduction in both falciparum and vivax malaria cases. This cost-effective strategy challenges traditional, labor-intensive methods, emphasizing the importance of community health workers in achieving malaria elimination in challenging, remote areas.

New MORU-led study to test a single pill to fight drug-resistant malaria in Africa and Asia

MORU Bangkok

To boost the fight against drug-resistant malaria parasites now emerging in Africa, researchers will study the safety and efficacy of a fixed-dose combination (FDC) containing three antimalarial drugs currently given to patients separately in a triple artemisinin-based combination therapy (TACT) cocktail.

Antimicrobial resistance is a silent killer that leads to 5 million deaths a year. Solutions must include the poor

MORU Bangkok

AMR has been linked to close to 5 million deaths annually. We need urgent global action to counter antimicrobial resistance, but current efforts focus on solutions developed in high-income settings. If we want people to become less dependent on antibiotics, we must address the factors that create dependency on antibiotics in the first place. The solution we are working towards is fair and inclusive; it respects people and their traditions while also benefiting human health, animal welfare and the natural environment.

Just by shining a light into an unopened vial, handheld device can quickly detect falsified COVID-19 vaccines

MORU Bangkok

Handheld Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) devices offer new hope for easily detecting falsified COVID-19 vaccines — even if the vaccine vials are unopened, say researchers in a paper published in Vaccine on 20 Oct 2023

Estimating hospital-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infections in England

MORU Bangkok

An estimated 95,000–167,000 inpatients at English National Health Service (NHS) hospitals caught SARS-CoV-2 while in hospital during England’s ‘second wave’ of COVID-19, between June 2020 and March 2021, reports a study in Nature. The findings reveal the scale of hospital transmissions and highlight contributing factors, such as a limited number of single rooms.

RSTMH recognises Prof Arjen Dondorp’s contributions to significantly improving health in the tropics

Awards & Appointments MORU Bangkok

We were delighted to hear that MORU Deputy Director of MORU and Head of Malaria & Critical Illness, Prof Arjen Dondorp, has been awarded the highly prestigious 2023 George Macdonald Medal!! This medal recognises outstanding individual contribution for conducting research leading to significant improvements in health in the tropics. It is a joint award from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (RSTMH).

Bipin Adhikari awarded RSTMH Emerging Leaders Award

Awards & Appointments MORU Bangkok

On 28 Sept, MORU Malaria Clinical Researcher Bipin Adhikari received a 2023 Emerging Leaders Award from the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH) to recognise his significant contributions in leadership and service, including mentoring and capacity building, to the fields of tropical medicine and global health.

Paxlovid® clears COVID-19 more rapidly than molnupiravir, say Oxford researchers

MORU Bangkok

In the first ever direct comparison between the two leading COVID antivirals molnupiravir and nirmatrelvir (Paxlovid®), researchers report in this week’s Lancet Infectious Diseases that while both drugs worked, nirmatrelvir (Paxlovid®) was more effective, clearing the virus from the throat more rapidly than molnupiravir.

New evidence supports higher dose antimalarial to combat relapsing malaria


Analysis of data from more than 6,800 patients located across 16 countries has supported the need to increase the dose of the antimalarial drug, primaquine, in Plasmodium vivax malaria endemic countries.

Three CTMGH researchers awarded Professorships

Awards & Appointments MORU Bangkok

We are delighted to announce that three Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health (CTMGH) researchers have been awarded the Professor title, in recognition of their research achievements, contribution to teaching, and contribution to the general work of the Nuffield Department of Medicine.

Identifying factors for maternal and foetal mortality from malaria


A study coordinated by NDM researchers published in BMC Medicine explores the factors predicting higher mortality in pregnant women with severe malaria and describes how severe falciparum malaria in pregnancy affects foetal health and mortality.

FORESFA Edinburgh meeting stimulates discussion

Conferences & meetings

The second annual FORESFA meeting, held in Edinburgh, stimulated discussion on forensic investigations of falsified medicines and engagement with potential implementers.

Researchers identify potential diagnostic markers of Japanese encephalitis, a leading cause of brain infection in Asia


Work by Oxford DPhil could pave way towards a rapid diagnostic test for a disease that puts millions at risk across Asia-Pacific

Direk made Full Professor at Mahidol

Awards & Appointments MORU Bangkok

We are delighted that Direk Limmathurotsakul, a MORU member since 2004 and Head of Microbiology at MORU since 2012, has been awarded a full Professorship at Mahidol University.

Bob Taylor awarded Oxford Associate Professorship

Awards & Appointments MORU Bangkok

We are delighted to announce that Bob Taylor has been made an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford. Since joining MORU in 2009 Bob has led many important clinical studies and trials in vivax and falciparum malaria and more recently in cutaneous leishmaniasis. Many of Bob’s research impacts have been of truly global significance.

New study highlights the evidence gap on the quality of antiretrovirals globally

MORU Bangkok

A new study suggests that, although there is sparse evidence, substandard and falsified antiretrovirals occur and enhanced surveillance is needed.

Global team of humanities and social science researchers to explore Just Transitions for antimicrobial resistance

MORU Bangkok

'Just Transitions to mitigate antimicrobial resistance' is a multidisciplinary social science and humanities programme funded by the British Academy. Led by Dr Sonia Lewycka and Professor Phaik Yeong Cheah, its team of 20 researchers will convene global and regional dialogues, engaging with key stakeholders to co-create equitable and sustainable solutions to manage antimicrobial resistance.

Fight against drug-resistant malaria in critical new phase: “We are in danger of losing our current antimalarial drugs to resistance.”

MORU Bangkok

On World Malaria Day 2023, the global fight against malaria has hit a critical point in Africa. Recent studies have confirmed that malaria parasites resistant to artemisinin have emerged in Rwanda, Uganda and the Horn of Africa.

After reviewing progress on improving global medicine quality, participants plan next global conference

MORU Bangkok

On 23 March, experts in medicine quality and substandard and falsified (SF) medicines gathered in Oxford for an informal one-day meeting following the workshop ‘The relationship between substandard and falsified antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance and patient outcomes’. Over 60 participants from multiple countries attended the meeting in the Theatre of the Department of Sociology at Oxford, and participated in focussed discussions and intense sharing of challenges and successes in medicine quality and countering SF medicines. Mainly from academia, participants also included representatives from international organisations, the private sector and NGOs.

ACORN investigators meet to kick off 2nd year of data collection

Conferences & meetings MORU Bangkok

Funded by Wellcome, ACORN (A Clinically-Oriented antimicrobial Resistance Network) is an AMR surveillance project that collects clinical and microbiology data on community- and hospital-acquired infections. ACORN will assess the impacts of AMR on the duration of hospitalisation and mortality in collaboration with the WHO Global AMR Surveillance System (GLASS) team.

New antibiotic combination speeds recovery from severe scrub typhus, which infects 1 million people per year


Treating patients ill with severe scrub typhus – a life-threatening infection that kills tens of thousands of people a year - with a combination of intravenous antibiotics doxycycline and azithromycin is significantly more effective than the current monotherapy of using either drug alone, say researchers in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Watch our webinar - Radical cure of vivax malaria: can we do better?

MORU Bangkok

The three presentations and expert discussion by Dr Rob Commons, Dr Alison Roth and Dr James Watson, chaired by Professor Sir Nicholas White (Mahidol Oxford Research Unit) and Dr Chau Nguyen Hoang (Oxford University Clinical Research Unit), are now available.

Study supports evidence ivermectin not effective to treat COVID-19

MORU Bangkok

21 Feb 2023 Oxford UK - High doses of the drug ivermectin, controversially recommended by some high-profile political and media figures during the COVID-19 pandemic, is ineffective at treating the COVID-19 virus, say University of Oxford-affiliated researchers in a study published today in eLife.

Phase II Malaria vaccine trial begins in Thailand

MORU Bangkok

The Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) has begun a Phase II trial to demonstrate that R21/matrix M is well-tolerated and immunogenic when administered with the antimalarial drug combination.

Pilot study detects diverse DNA in ingredients of falsified tablets


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.

Ricardo Aguas awarded Associate Professorship

MORU Bangkok

We are delighted to announce that Ricardo Aguas has been awarded the Associate Professor title, in recognition of his achievements, contribution to teaching, and contribution to the general work of the Nuffield Department of Medicine.

COPCOV investigators meet, and prepare to submit for publication

MORU Bangkok

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.

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