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Pilot study detects diverse DNA in ingredients of falsified tablets

LOMWRU

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.

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.

Researchers call for antimicrobial resistance surveillance to be improved

COMRU LOMWRU MORU Bangkok

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.

Are we getting tafenoquine dosing right?

MORU Bangkok SMRU

Researchers analysing clinical trial data for the new antimalarial drug tafenoquine find that higher doses are needed to cure reliably vivax malaria infection.

Constant genetic surveillance necessary to keep multidrug-resistant malaria parasite strains in check, study finds

LOMWRU MORU Bangkok

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

SMRU

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.

SMRU and BHF inaugurate new Admin Building

SMRU

Today saw the long-awaited grand opening of the new Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) / Borderland Health Foundation (BHF) Admin Building in Mae Ramat, Thailand, near the Thai-Myanmar border. And, boy was it worth the wait! Years in the planning, the very impressive new Admin Building looked absolutely stunning, the siting and architecture being universally admired by the many guests.

Bacterial infections linked to one in eight global deaths, according to GRAM study

COMRU LOMWRU MORU Bangkok

Data showing 7.7 million deaths from 33 bacterial infections can guide measures to strengthen health systems, particularly in low-income settings

Combating drug-resistant malaria

MORU Bangkok

MORU research has contributed to strategies to eliminate malaria in the Greater Mekong Sub-region, helping to prevent the spread of drug-resistant malaria and improving health provision and outcomes for remote communities.

Study shows clear link between antibiotic treatment and acquisition of AMR bacteria in children

COMRU SMRU

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

MORU Bangkok

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.

Call for researchers: Share your country’s national COVID-19 therapeutics guidelines

MORU Bangkok

The joint MORU and IDDO Study to review global COVID-19 therapeutics guidelines, led by PIs Cintia V. Cruz, Mia Cokljat and Philippe Guérin, is examining current national COVID-19 treatment recommendations to investigate the level of variation and whether they are consistent with WHO guidelines for the pharmacological prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Three new full Oxford Professors from MORU

Awards & Appointments MOCRU MORU Bangkok

Three MORU Network staff awarded full professorship at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford.

INTERBIO-21st study findings could help predict infants at risk of obesity

SMRU

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

Using mathematical modelling to fight malaria

MORU Bangkok

Researchers have created a mathematical model to predict genetic resistance to antimalarial drugs in Africa to manage one of the biggest threats to global malarial control.

Oxford conferences put focus on substandard and falsified antimicrobials and vaccines

Conferences & meetings

MORU’s Medicine Quality Research Group (MQRG) organised a multidisciplinary hybrid meeting at Keble College, Oxford, 3-6 July for the Wellcome Collaborative Award-funded FORESFA project (‘Forensic epidemiology and impact of substandard and falsified antimicrobials on public health’).

Incomplete reporting of COVID-19 disease severity criteria compromises meta-analysis

MORU Bangkok

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.

Field evaluation of EasyScan GO: a digital malaria microscopy device

MORU Bangkok SMRU

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

LOMWRU

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 Professor Sir David Warrell, appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

Awards & Appointments MORU Bangkok

David Warrell, our 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!

Laos’ first Pint of Science: warty newts, COVID, AI for Instagram, and more!

LOMWRU

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

MORU Bangkok

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.

PRIORITISE study team publishes results, now seeks partners

COMRU

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.

Under the Mask, drama film based on testimonies of tuberculosis patients

SMRU

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

MORU Bangkok

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.

Largest-ever IPD meta-analysis of malaria patients to inform haemoglobin changes

LOMWRU MORU Bangkok SMRU

A new malaria study using a very large analysis of pooled individual patient data (IPD) from more than 70,000 patients of all ages, has been published in BMC Medicine by the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network Falciparum Haematology Study Group

Study finds steady increase in WHO-validated artemisinin resistance markers in Asia

MORU Bangkok

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.

Global Research on AntiMicrobial resistance (GRAM) project

MORU Bangkok

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.

Susie, Phaik Yeong, Richard and Paul among new full Oxford professors!

Awards & Appointments MORU Bangkok

In the 2021 Oxford Recognition of Distinction round, four MORU colleagues were awarded Full Professor title.

All-nighter: staying up to fight malaria

SMRU

Featured in Nature, Victor Chaumeau collects mosquitoes in Myanmar to better understand how to control malaria.

Antibiotic accountability: how countries and companies perform

MORU Bangkok

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.

New! A learning framework about antimicrobial resistance for children and young people

MORU Bangkok Public Engagement

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.

Paul Newton named ASTMH Distinguished International Fellow

Awards & Appointments

Professor Paul Newton was announced new Distinguished International Fellow at the ASTMH Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony on the 17th November. This distinction formally recognizes individuals who have made eminent contributions to a particular aspect of tropical medicine or hygiene.

Overusing antibiotics? Find out with Antibiotic Footprint Calculator

MORU Bangkok

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

MORU Bangkok

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.

Rise in COPCOV numbers continues; study to end recruitment 30 Nov

COPCOV COVID-19 MORU Bangkok

A global study examining the impact of chloroquine / hydroxychloroquine in preventing COVID-19, COPCOV has recruited 3,386 participants as of 26 Oct from sites in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Pakistan, Zambia, and closed sites in Thailand, Niger and the UK. Last week, the COPCOV team agreed with active site research teams that it will continue to recruit new participants until 30 Nov 2021, with preliminary study results expected Q1 2022.

Large-scale systematic review identifies research gaps in scrub typhus

MORU Bangkok

A new, extensive systematic review has identified significant research gaps in the treatment of scrub typhus which could be improved by developing a database for individual participant data (IPD) to enable more detailed analyses to address important knowledge gaps such as the optimum dosing for children and to improve patient outcomes.

Lack of evidence is key barrier to using portable devices to detect poor quality medicines

LOMWRU

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.

NDM recognizes MORU DPhils students' outstanding research impact

Awards & Appointments MORU Bangkok

Every year, the Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) awards NDM Prizes to its most outstanding graduate research students. MORU was well represented this year, with Mo Yin and Rebecca Inglis 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.

New study alerts to the risk of poor quality medicines used to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease

LOMWRU

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.

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