The Communicable Diseases Policy Research Group (CDPRG) is a multidisciplinary team within the Department of Global Health & Development in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.The Group is based in Bangkok, Thailand, and conducts research across the SE Asia region, and beyond. It provides a focus of expertise on the diverse public health problems associated with communicable disease control internationally and carries out research that is in support of and for policy reform.

GCRF Project Launches in Bangkok

University of Kent has launched a new website of "GCRF Establishment of biopharmaceutical and animal vaccine production capacity in Thailand and neighbouring SE Asian countries" project. 

The GCRF BioPharma project kicked off with a great meeting of the whole consortium in Bangkok this month. Research teams from the National Biopharmaceutical Facility (NBF) at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi and The National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), Bangkok, are joining forces with researchers from the University of Kent, UCL, Imperial College and LSHTM (Richard Coker and Fatim Lakha) to undertake this ambitious project. Biopharmaceuticals are protein drugs that are used to treat a wide variety of diseases, including cancer and auto-immune diseases. 

For more information please visit here.

Prof Richard Coker with Prof Vonthanak Saphonn, Rector of UHS, Cambodia. He is accepting a Memorandum of Understanding between UHS and LSHTM on behalf of Prof Peter Piot, Director of LSHTM. May 2015. 


Video on "Influenza: Preparing for the next pandemic"

Tom Drake and Prof Richard Coker discuss pandemic influenza mitigation measures as they affect Southeast Asia, a region considered by many to be the front line of any future battle against the disease.

 

News

8 March 2019

Paper entitled "Surveillance and characterisation of influenza viruses among patients with influenza-like illness in Bali, Indonesia, July 2010–June 2014 has been published in BMC Infectious Diseases.

Wiku Adisasmito, Sri Budayanti, Dewi Nur Aisyah, Richard Coker, Ayu Rai Andayani, Gavin J. D. Smith and James W. Rudge BMC Infectious Diseases. DOI 10.1186/s12879-019-3842-5

Abstract

Background

Although Indonesia has high fatality rate of human A/H5N1 cases, epidemiological and clinical data on influenza virus circulation among humans has been limited. Within Indonesia, Bali province is of interest due to high population densities of humans, pigs and poultry. This study aims to characterize and compare the epidemiological and clinical patterns of influenza viruses in humans through surveillance among patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) in Bali, Indonesia.

Methods

ILI patients were recruited at 21 sentinel health facilities across all nine regencies in Bali, from July 2010 to June 2014. PCR-based assays were used for detection and subtyping of influenza viruses. Demographic, behavioural and clinical data were tested for associations with influenza using chi-squared tests and logistic regression.

Results

Of 2077 ILI patients, 291 (14.0%) tested positive for influenza A, 152 (7.3%) for influenza B, and 16 (0.77%) for both influenza A and B. Of the influenza A isolates, the majority 61.2% were A/H3N2, followed by A/H1N1-pdm09 (80; 26.1%). Two A/H5N1 were identified. Influenza positive rates were significantly higher during wet season months (28.3%), compared with the dry season (13.8%; χ2 = 61.1; df = 1; p < 0.0001). Clinical predictors for infection varied by virus type, with measured fever (≥38 °C) more strongly associated with influenza B (AOR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.10, 2.39).

Conclusion

Influenza circulates year-round among humans in Bali with higher activity during the wet season. High contact rates with poultry and pigs, along with influenza virus detection that could not be subtyped through conventional assays, highlight the need for molecular studies to characterize epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of influenza in this setting.

The paper is available online here.