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Research at COMRU has defined the epidemiology of some of the key infectious diseases affecting Cambodian children. We have contributed to development of the Cambodia National Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System and helped revise the country’s National Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance and implemented an electronic antibiotic prescription guideline app at AHC and led development of a comprehensive hospital antimicrobial stewardship programme.

Composite image with researcher in a lab and bacteria colonies in a petri dish © 2019 MORU. Photographer: Paul Turner
Biosecurity (left): Maintenance of the COMRU bacterial isolate inventory; Invasive bacterial infection epidemiology (right): Chromobacterium violaceum, a rare but deadly cause of sepsis in Cambodian children.

COMRU’s significant recent achievements include:

  • Quantified the burden of antimicrobial resistant infections in hospitalised Cambodian children over a ten-year period and leading a general review on AMR in Cambodia.
  • Determined the impact of PCV13 on Streptococcus pneumoniae colonisation and invasive disease in the three years following vaccine introduction.
  • Estimated the likely coverage of prototype group A streptococcal vaccines in Cambodian children, in collaboration with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Australia.
  • Mapped the burden of paediatric melioidosis in Siem Reap province.
  • Contributed to Oxford Tropical Network and Wellcome Sanger Institute projects on Salmonella Typhi, Shigella sonnei, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pneumoniae epidemiology and population biology.
  • Identified key beliefs and practices occurring in the new-born period in rural Cambodia, to inform future intervention studies around neonatal care.
  • Commenced a programme of implementation research based around delivery of paediatric healthcare in Cambodia.
  • Hosted the 2015 Oxford Tropical Network Meeting, attended by over 300 researchers from Asia, Africa and Oxford.