Large scale systematic review details causes of non-malarial febrile illnesses globally and identifies research priorities
21 September 2020
A series of articles that set out to explore the global distribution of infections that cause non-malarial febrile illness has been published in BMC Medicine. The series brings together the results of large-scale systematic reviews of the causes of fever in Africa, Latin America, and Southern and South-Eastern Asia, and has helped identify major knowledge gaps, geographical differences, priority areas for diagnostics research and development, and enabled the most comprehensive systematic review of literature to date.
10 September 2020
Research Malaria Microscopy Standards (ReMMS) applicable to malaria clinical research studies have been published in Malaria Journal. The paper describes the rationale for proposed standards to prepare, stain and examine blood films for malaria parasites.
Hydroxychloroquine doses in COVID-19 prevention trials should be safe, study finds. Now let’s find out if they’re effective.
10 September 2020
As the world waits impatiently for a COVID-19 vaccine, an exhaustive review of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine pharmacology suggests that the doses used in COVID-19 prevention trials are safe, say University of Oxford affiliated researchers in a study published in PLoS Medicine.
21 July 2020
IDDO and MORU released its Medicine Quality Scientific Literature Surveyor. The surveyor delivers summaries of published scientific reports on the quality of the classes of essential medicines listed below, across regions and over time. We hope it will help medicine regulators, scientists, health professionals, purchasers and officials fill critical information gaps.
Global clinical trial of 40,000+ healthcare workers begins to test in UK if chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19
21 May 2020
A global study to test if either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19 in vital frontline healthcare workers will open to UK participants at hospital sites in Brighton and Oxford today.
1 May 2020
The SEBCOV study aims to produce evidence to inform public health measures such as communications, quarantine, self-isolation, social distancing, and travel restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic. This study is run in four countries: UK, Thailand, Italy and Malaysia.
29 April 2020
The Epidemiology Department of MORU and National Malaria Control Programme, Cambodia (CNM) have begun to implement a study to assess the efficacy of prophylaxis with artemether-lumefantrine (PAL) against forest malaria in Siem Pang District, north-eastern Cambodia bordering Laos.
23 April 2020
Less than a month after it was announced, the MORU-led COPCOV study has made quick progress and expects to begin enrolling participants by the end of April.
30 March 2020
Researchers at MORU and two institutions in the US (University of Washington and La Jolla Institute for Immunology) receive grants from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a large-scale initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to speed the development of and access to therapies for COVID-19.
11 March 2020
Adding a third anti-malaria drug to current artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs) provides effective treatment against multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria in Southeast Asia, say Oxford researchers in a study in The Lancet. Using TACTs should extend current malaria drugs so drug-resistant malaria doesn't kill millions more and derail hopes of controlling and eliminating malaria.
6 March 2020
From The Lancet Correspondence. In the opening to the 2019 World Malaria Report, entitled Leaving no one behind in the march to a malaria free world, the WHO’s Director-General notes that the scourge of malaria continues to strike hardest against pregnant women and children in Africa.
Global study highlights the extent and impact of drug-resistant enteric fever and the urgent need for new approaches
23 December 2019
A new study conducted by Christiane Dolecek and colleagues analysed data on antimicrobial resistance of the bacteria Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Paratyphi, from around the globe, spanning the time from 1990 to 2018. The study highlights the impact of drug resistance and the urgent need for interventions.
New research supports co-administration of primaquine with artemisinin-based combination therapies for P. vivax malaria
8 October 2019
An individual patient data meta-analysis of 2,017 patients from 19 studies has found a high risk of recurrence following treatment of P. vivax malaria with artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) unless they are co-administered with primaquine. The research supports recommendations that these artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) should be combined with primaquine.
18 September 2019
In partnership with the Wellcome Innovations Flagship Programme, MORU launched its Critical Care Asia Network project with its first investigators’ meeting on 19-20 Aug in Bangkok. The project will establish an Asian ICU network across 42 ICUs in nine countries and implement a setting-adapted electronic registry.
24 July 2019
MORU researchers have found that severe malnutrition is associated with lower exposure to the antimalarial drug lumefantrine in children treated with artemether-lumefantrine, the most common treatment for uncomplicated falciparum malaria. The study, which is the first to specifically address this, calls urgently for further research into optimised dosing regimens for undernourished children.
Rapidly spreading multidrug-resistant parasites render frontline malaria drug ineffective in southeast Asia
23 July 2019
A rapidly evolving multi-drug resistant lineage of P. falciparum malaria parasites continues to spread in South East Asia, leading to alarmingly high treatment failure rates in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam for DHA-piperaquine, one of the world’s most important anti-malaria drugs.
19 July 2019
A large clinical trial in Africa and Asia has shown that a 7 day course of high dose primaquine, a drug used to treat P. vivax malaria, is well tolerated and just as effective as the current standard 14 day regimen, according to a study published this week in The Lancet. These findings have important implications for the treatment and elimination of vivax malaria in the Asia Pacific.
17 July 2019
Medical Action Myanmar and MOCRU health teams identified a number of children with rickets in remote areas of Myanmar. MOCRU director Frank Smithuis presented the findings of clinical screening to the Minister of Health, alongside treatment results and a plan for a large survey to investigate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its underlying causes.
2 July 2019
New research by Makoto Saito and colleagues at SMRU found that a longer follow-up is required to assess antimalarial drug efficacy in pregnant women. This was found across all drugs assessed in low malaria transmission settings. The report’s authors have called for guidelines specifically for pregnant women and further investigation of optimal follow-up periods in high malaria transmission settings.
30 April 2019
To mark World Malaria Day on 25 April WWARN’s Dr Makoto Saito and Professor Joel Tarning from the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit and Head of WWARN Pharmacometrics presented their work on prevention and treatment of malaria in vulnerable groups at a seminar hosted by the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health
3 April 2019
How do you go about building all the skills you need at the start of your research career? Cherry Lim from our MORU unit in Bangkok, Thailand, was lucky to find a good mentor who guided her through this journey, but her own ceaseless curiosity and excitement about research were also important.
26 March 2019
Rob van der Pluijm presented encouraging findings from TRAC II trial analyses of Triple Artemisinin Combination Therapies to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria & NTDs on March 19th in Westminster at the Houses of Parliament.
6 March 2019
Lorenz Von Seidlein tells SciDev.Net that mass drug administration as “presumptive treatment” to clear the parasite reservoir was carried out in eight villages spread across Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. By the third month, the prevalence of P. falciparum had decreased by 92 % in those villages. Over the subsequent nine months, P. falciparum infections returned but stayed well below baseline levels, showing that MDA can stop transmission of falciparum malaria and reduce its prevalence in SE Asia, where resistance to artemisinin has hampered elimination efforts.
1 March 2019
Working closely with the University of British Columbia (UBC)'s Support Program to Advance Research Capacity (SPARC), MORU Malaria Researcher Dr Katherine Plewes was recently awarded a 3-year, C$971,551 grant for her study on Evaluating the renoprotective effect of acetaminophen in pediatric severe falciparum malaria: A randomized controlled trial.
12 February 2019
On 24-25 Jan 2019, investigators met in Bangkok to launch the Developing Triple Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (DeTACT) Project. Led by MORU and funded by UKaid and the UK Department for International Development (DfID), DeTACT is a large, 14 site trial in 8 African and 5 Asian countries that will study the efficacy, safety and tolerability of two Triple Artemisinin Combination Therapy (TACT) combinations, using combinations of existing antimalarial drugs.
18 January 2019
A recent WWARN individual patient meta-analysis has gathered 18 published and unpublished studies from Africa and Asia to explore the relationships between identified Kelch 13 mutant alleles and delayed parasite clearance. The study results show one P. falciparum specific mutant and 20 pfk13 propeller region mutant alleles are strongly associated with the slow clearance phenotype, including 15 mutations that have not been confirmed before. It was reassuring that no pfk13 alleles associated with slow parasite clearance were observed in the parasites from African studies gathered between 2000-2017.
16 January 2019
Malaria causes nearly half a million deaths worldwide every year. Ninety percent of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, where poor infrastructure limits delivery of drugs. But now there is worry that those drugs are losing effectiveness as disease strains become resistant. PBS News Hour special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from Cambodia, where scientists are researching and tracking new outbreaks.
18 December 2018
A new Piperaquine Pharmacokinetics in Pregnancy Study Group is now open for participation at WWARN. The analysis hopes to determine the effect of pregnancy on the pharmacokinetic (PK) properties of piperaquine and contribute evidence to inform decisions on the use and optimal dosing of piperaquine in pregnant women.
20 November 2018
Progress against malaria has stalled, and the disease remains a significant threat to billions of people despite the expensive, decades-long efforts to contain it. In an encouraging development, MORU reported complete success in curing hundreds of patients in Southeast Asia with new three-drug combinations mixing fast-acting artemisinin with two longer-lasting drugs. It it hoped that triple therapy should become the standard for malaria treatment.
9 November 2018
A systematic review analyses the results of 177 trials conducted between 1982 and 2016, including 18,436 patients who underwent electrocardiographic evaluation during malaria clinical trials. Nick White and colleagues found that serious cardiovascular side effects, which include sudden cardiac death, are very rare in the treatment of malaria with quinoline antimalarials. The work emphasises the importance of continued pharmacovigilance with the increasing use of quinoline antimalarials in mass treatment strategies such as intermittent preventative treatment and mass drug administration.
7 November 2018
The incidence of malaria has continued to drop dramatically in remote rural villages in Myanmar after community workers trained only to detect and treat malaria began providing basic health care as well as malaria services, researchers affiliated with MOCRU, our Myanmar-Oxford Clinical Research Unit, have said.
24 October 2018
The incidence of malaria cases continued to drop dramatically in rural and remote Myanmar villages after community workers trained only to detect and treat malaria began providing basic health care as well as malaria services. Adding the health services to malaria control benefitted the villagers access to health and improved malaria services – paving the way for malaria elimination.
28 September 2018
In this Science blog, field researchers, Dr Giacomo Zanello, Dr Marco Haenssgen, Ms Nutcha Charoenboon and Mr Jeffrey Lienert explain the importance of continuing to improve survey research techniques when working in rural areas of developing countries.
12 September 2018
MORU is participating in a project to reduce antibiotic resistance on farms in Asia by educating farmers. In his first 12 years working as a vet in Bangladesh, Bikash Chandra Saha routinely prescribed antibiotics. Then he learned of the devastating impact of antimicrobial resistance on human health - and it revolutionized his treatment choices.
12 September 2018
Dr Myo Maung Maung Swe and Htet Htet Aung from our MOCRU unit in Myanmar were awarded grants by the International Society for Infectious Diseases and Wellcome. Myo Maung will study antibiotics use and antimicrobial resistance public awareness in Myanmar; Htet Htet will conduct a study on Ethical challenges when offering pregnant women with Hepatitis B short course treatment to prevent transmission.
4 September 2018
A team of researchers led by Yoel Lubell at MORU and IDDO used data from the USA and Thailand to link the consumption of antibiotics with the direct and indirect costs of treating patients for five drug-resistant bacterial infections.
26 July 2018
Scientists are racing to stamp out the disease in Southeast Asia before unstoppable strains spread. This article features MORU, SMRU and colleagues, and explains what is happening and what we are doing to eliminate drug-resistant malaria in Southeast Asia before it spreads
13 June 2018
Current recommended treatment regimens for the most widely used medicine for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria may be sub-optimal for small children and pregnant women according to a study led by Professor Joel Tarning.
8 June 2018
One of the world’s most widely used anti-malarial drugs is safe to use, say researchers, after a thorough review and analysis of nearly 200,000 malaria patients who’d taken the drug dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PPQ). There is such a low risk of sudden unexpected death from DHA-PPQ, one of the world’s most effective medicines to treat malaria, that there is no need to limit its current use.