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Etiology, disease burden and antibiotic resistance profiles of community-acquired or hospital-acquired bacterial infections in Asia

Short description

Bacterial agents such as pneumococci or salmonella (typhoid fever) are an increasing public health problem in many developing and emerging countries despite available vaccines and antibiotics. Data on disease burden and levels of antibiotic resistance are often absent in these countries.

At three places of study (Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh), a real-time data collection system will be set up to provide reliable and rapid information on disease outbreaks, disease burden, pathogen resistance and possible transmission routes. The focus is on children under the age of 5 who are hospitalized with a febrile or respiratory disease.

In the participating hospitals, in addition to the usual blood culture, a multi-pathogen diagnostic platform is established (real-time PCR), which allows a quick clarification of possible causes of disease via blood samples and smears from the nasopharynx.

The identified bacterial pathogens will be further analyzed in the laboratory in Vietnam to create pathogen specific resistance profiles by sequencing. Difficult to identify or new pathogens will be further investigated at the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK. The data is then transferred to a global pathogen database (Imperial College), and transmission routes and pathogen resistance are displayed on electronic maps. In order to make the acquired information universally available, a new global system is used that allows comparison with other, globally identified pathogens. This system instantly sorts resistance information into global distribution data, which can then be queried in real time on the internet.

Aims of the project

  • Implementation of a standardised, real-time surveillance of feverish or respiratory diseases in hospitalised children
  • Implementation of a standardised, real-time pathogen database that characterises the resistance patterns of the pathogen phenotypically and genotypically


Supporting institution

Robert Koch Institute

Partner countries

Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam


  • International Vaccine Institute (IVI), Seoul, S-Korea
  • Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Cambodia-Oxford Medical Research Unit (COMRU), Angkor Children’s Hospital, Siem Reap, Kambodscha
  • Dhaka Shishu Hospital (DSH), Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), Cambridge,UK
  • Imperial College (IC), London, UK