Recruitment of FIEBRE participants ended in Laos on 31 October 2020. The LOMWRU team started enrolling patients on 9 October 2018 at Vientiane Provincial Hospital. In total, 1961 participants were enrolled – more than the other participating FIEBRE sites to date – and with the Laos team reaching the adult recruitment target of 600 for both in- and outpatients. A number of patients are still being followed up. The first set of samples were shipped to LSHTM in early 2020 and are now at international reference laboratories awaiting diagnostics. Analysis of these samples will produce the first results of the study aside from preliminary data from point-of-care tests carried out on site.
The team faced clinical and logistical challenges including difficulty in taking blood samples from children and travelling long distances to recruit controls (healthy people who were not always interested in taking part). To mark the end of recruitment, the LOMWRU team at the site came to Vientiane capital for a celebratory lunch this week with other staff who had supported the study implementation, before the valiant Dr Khamfong heads off to Salavan to cover Dr Chom’s maternity leave (pictured).
FIEBRE has helped with the clinical diagnostic capacity and treatment of infectious diseases in the local community, as blood culture and other tests were not available in the hospital previously. The information collected by the study may contribute to the development of treatment guidelines for fever in the future, especially in settings where there's no laboratory diagnostics or little data available. For more details, visit the FIEBRE website.
- With thanks to Ruth Lorimer for text and Athirat Black for photo