FarmResist
PROJECT

Success story: FarmResist

This project studies the occupational risks for animal farmers to be colonised with animal-associated resistant bacteria, impact on the faecal microbiota. It was funded under the 1st Call of the Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
Posted on

Background:

Animal farming is a worldwide industry, with millions of people involved in the production of animal products every day. Protecting farmed animals from disease and infection is therefore vitally important not only for livestock and consumer wellbeing, but also for those working within the farming industry.

The Project:

The FarmResist project will use a “One Health” approach, to investigate the occupational risk for pig and poultry farmers of of catching animal-associated ESBL-E and colistin-resistant enterobacteria. It is hoped that this research will lead to the development of preventive measures for avoiding the transmission of zoonotic bacteria from animal to farmers, as well as reducing the spread of antibioresistance in the environment.

The Science:

The researchers will study both small family farms and medium-big industrial farms. At each farm, faecal samples of farmers, animals (included pets and rodents) will be collected. The prevalence, genotyping and microbiota diversity will be studied by using both culture-dependent methods, molecular biology and next generation sequencing.

The association between farm parameters and antimicrobial resistance will be analysed in order to propose preventive measures to avoid the transmission of zoonotic bacteria from animal to farmers and to reduce the spread of antibioresistance in the environment.  The influence of faecal carriage of ESBL-E or colistin resistant bacteria on the faecal microbiota of farmers will then also be studied.

The Team:

The FarmResist partners are:

  • Visanu Thamlikitkul, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University.
  • Suwit Chotinun, Chiang Mai University, poultry clinic.
  • Morand Serge, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Faculty Veterinary Technology
  • Jean-Marc Rolain, URMITE- IHU Méditerranée Infection, Valorization and Transfer, Marseille, France
  • Morand Serge, CNRS- Cirad, France
  • Markus Hilty, IFIK, Bern University, Switzerland
  • Oppliger Anne, IST, Lausanne University, Switzerland

Contact:

Anne Oppliger: Anne.Oppliger@hospvd.ch

Tags
DeZi
PROJECT

Success story: DeZi Project

This project aims to produce a single component pentavalent Dengue-Zika vaccine preventing antibody-dependent enhancement phenomenon. It was funded under the 1st Call of the Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
Posted on

Background:

Dengue and Zika are viruses spread through mosquito bites which can cause serious illness and even death. They are highly prevalent both in Southeast Asia, with an estimated 390 million dengue infections worldwide every year.[1] The number of outbreaks for both viruses is increasing every year, and recent cases of Zika outbreaks in French Polynesia and Brazil in 2013 and 2014 made news around the world.  As of 2016, the WHO has declared ZIKV infection is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

There is currently no specific treatment for either the Dengue or Zika viruses. A Zika vaccine is yet to be discovered, while despite two decades of dengue vaccine development, only one vaccine has been licensed in a few countries, which not cover all 4 types of the virus, and cannot be used by all ages – leaving those under the age of 9 or over 45 at risk.

The Project:

The DeZi project aims to address this issue by proposing new concepts for vaccine development. It hopes to addresses the bottleneck of flavivirus vaccine development starting from the hypothesis that development of these vaccines should be based on an integrative approach by studying cross-reactivity among flaviviruses.

To do this, the project team will firstly transfer technology of DNA vaccine production from France to Thailand. Once in place, they will aim to demonstrate that their vaccine protects against dengue virus.

The Science:

The researchers believe that a more efficient dengue vaccine should contain either T-cell epitopes or both B-and T-cell epitopes. The best animal model for prediction of vaccine efficacy should demonstrate its protection against the effect of ADE, not only primary infection.

This would prevent imbalanced immunity among the four serotypes upon tetravalent live attenuated dengue vaccine. In addition, these T cells epitopes will allow us to create a single component vaccine composed of multiple Dengue & Zika epitopes (4DZVx), which will cover concurrently the four DENV serotypes and ZIKV at the same time.

The team hypothesise that balanced immunity against all four DENV serotypes and ZIKV with a protective T cell response can prevent the risk of ADE. The 4DZVx will include the T cell component of the anti-DENV and -ZIKV response. Ideally, the T-cell response will protect against the adverse effect of ADE due to pre-existing antibodies induced following primary infections as occurring in endemic countries.

 

The Team:

The DeZi partners are:

Contact:

Anavaj Sakuntabhai: anavaj@pasteur.fr 

 

[1] https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dengue-fever-reference#1

Tags
CAREChild
PROJECT

Success story: CAREChild

This project aims to contain antibiotic resistance and find measures to improve antibiotic use in pregnancy, childbirth and children. It was funded under the 1st Call of the SEA-Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
Posted on

Background

Antibiotics are life-saving medicines, but increasing antibiotic resistant bacteria are making common infections increasingly difficult to treat, and antibiotic resistance is now recognised as one of the greatest threats to global health. The main cause of this increasing resistance is the unnecessary use of antibiotics, which forces bacteria to adapt in the so-called “selective pressure”.

During normal childbirth without complications, antibiotics should not be used; however, reports and small studies from Asian countries show alarmingly high levels of antibiotic use in these cases. Similarly, there is a worrying trend of over-prescribing and poor use of antibiotics for treating children under five years of age.  Focusing particularly on Lao PDR, little is known about the situation of potential overuse and misuse of antibiotics during childbirth and for treating children.

The Project

The CAREChild project aims to understand and improve antibiotic use in relation to pregnancy, childbirth and children in Lao PDR with the long-term aim of containing antibiotic resistance.

The team will explore and assess perceptions, knowledge, attitudes and reported practice as well as actual practice among health care providers and in the community, to estimate antibiotic prescribing to estimate the situation of antibiotic resistance, focusing particularly on ESBLs in Escherichia coli in infections and carriage in faecal samples.

The Science

The study is an intervention study with a formative phase leading to the development of the intervention, which will be implemented and evaluated through time series analysis. The content of the innovative intervention will be based on qualitative and quantitative findings from the formative phase and contain two components: a participatory and process-based educational intervention aimed towards health care providers, and an mHealth component aimed at pregnant women, and mothers of children under five years of age.

The main outcome measure will be the proportion of uncomplicated vaginal deliveries during which antibiotics are used, and to show changes over time during the intervention using time series analysis over a 24-month period. Additional outcomes will be knowledge and attitudes to antibiotic use and resistance, as well as antibiotic resistance levels.

Data will be collected using structured interviews regarding knowledge and practice of antibiotic use and resistance. In addition, individual interviews and focus group discussions will be held with relevant stakeholders to further understand perceptions about antibiotic use and resistance and how the situation can be improved.

The study is expected to generate important knowledge regarding antibiotic use and resistance development in Lao PDR, but with potential implications to other South East Asian countries and beyond. Furthermore, our project aims to strengthen collaborative ties between Laos-Sweden-Vietnam and to create a long-term collaboration between the partner countries that will serve the purpose of exchange of knowledge and expertise between those countries.

The Team:

The CAREChild partners are:

  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Ministry of Health, Department of Food and Drugs, Vientiane Laos
  • University of Health Sciences, Vientiane Laos
  • National Institute of Public Health, Vientiane Laos
  • Health Department of Vientiane Capital, Vientiane Laos
  • Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Hanoi University of Pharmacy, Hanoi, Vietnam

Contact:

Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg: Cecilia.Stalsby.Lundborg@ki.se

Tags
ThaiVacc
PROJECT

Success story: ThaiVacc

This project aims to develop Novel Leptospirosis and Dengue Fever Vaccines for Thailand. It was funded under the 1st Call of the Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation
Posted on

The Project:

Vaccination is one of the most effective strategies for the prevention and control of infectious diseases. However, not all vaccine are currently available in Thailand, particularly those for endemic diseases. This is in part due to low incidence and a lack of public information, but cost also plays an important factor, as most commercially available vaccines are imported, and too expensive for the general public to afford.

 The ThaiVacc project aims to address this issue through the research and development of vaccines for leptospirosis and dengue fever. By working with an international team of researchers in Thailand, Switzerland and France,  the project will not only help in strengthening the potential in vaccine research and development in Thailand, but will allow for knowledge and technology transfer between project partners in Europe and Southeast Asia.

The Science:

The project will be focused on the following activities:

  • Investigating the use of adjuvant systems in order to enhance the immunogenic properties of new multiple subunit vaccines for leptospirosis and suitable tetravalent DNA vaccine for dengue fever to allow higher immunogenicity and enhanced protection.
  • Developing new oral vaccination approaches against leptospirosis and dengue, which combine M-cell targeting strategies and specific mucosal adjuvants.
  • Organizing a workshop on mucosal vaccination in Chulalongkorn University, with the collaboration of Swiss and French partners.

The Team:

The ThaiVacc partners are:

Contact:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kanitha Patarakul, MD, PhD: Kanitha.Pa@chula.ac.th

Tags
PlasmID-SEA
PROJECT

Success Story: PlasmID-SEA

This project will use smartphone-based microscopy to study antibiotic resistance. It was funded under the 1st Call of the SEA-Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
Posted on

The Project:

Patients suffering from serious infections which cannot be cured with standard treatments are prescribed so called ‘last-resort’ antibiotics, such as carbapenem and colistin. They are used only when all other drug options have failed, and can be vital for saving lives.

However, with growing concern over antibiotic resistance, studies are needed to ensure infections can be safely controlled in the future.

The PlasmID-SEA project will use state-of-the-art smartphone-based microscopy to study plasmids that cause carbapenem and colistin resistance, and will use this information for infection control, epidemiological studies and diagnostics.

The Science:

This project will study plasmids which cause resistance against carbapenem and colistin antibiotics in Southeast Asia. To do this, the researchers will use a modern technique, based on optical DNA mapping, to analyse single plasmids through smartphone-based microscopy. The assay will then be transferred to a smartphone-based instrument, thus guaranteeing its long-term sustainable use in the region.

The Team:

The PlasmID-SEA partners are:

Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden https://www.karolinska.se/en

Contact:

Fredrik Westerlund: fredrikw@chalmers.se

Tags
H2020 Naypyidaw
NEWS

EU delegation presents opportunities for collaboration at 17th ASEAN STI Meeting

Horizon 2020 and Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme presented to ASEAN STI ministries in Naypyidaw, Myanmar
Posted on

A delegation of EU representatives presented the many opportunities available for increasing collaboration between Southeast Asian and European researchers at the 17th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, on 19th October 2017.

The delegation, led by Konstantinos Glinos of the European Commission, highlighted the similarities between the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) and EU STI policy objectives, and presented the many avenues for collaboration open to researchers, including Horizon 2020, information services offered by EURAXESS, and opportunities for jointly funded SEA-EU projects through the Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme (JFS).

The delegation announced the upcoming calls for Horizon 2020 funding (the new Work Programme 2018-2020 was published on October 29 – visit this link), and presented the preliminary outcomes of the 1st call of the Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme (JFS) which had taken place on 16-17 October in Bangkok, Thailand.

In addition to this, a number of side events took place to further promote SEA-EU collaboration in science, technology and innovation. During the Ministerial Meeting, the delegation engaged in a number of bilateral discussions with Thai and Vietnamese funding agencies, while a European Union booth at the ASEAN STI week promoted all of the mentioned opportunities to interested researchers. The JFS Secretariat also held a side-event on the 20 October for representatives of ASEAN funding agencies which would be interested in participating in future JFS calls.

The JFS Scientific Council in Bangkok
NEWS

SEA-EU Joint Funding Scheme holds successful funding decision meeting in Bangkok

First JFS Joint Call results in securing commitments to fund 10 projects
Posted on

The first Joint Call of the Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme (JFS) for research and innovation has succeeded in securing commitments to fund 10 projects, which will bring together research teams from both regions to tackle some of the most pressing issues faced today in the fields of health and climate change. 

The meetings of the JFS Scientific Committee and Programme Steering Committee were held in Bangkok, Thailand, on the 16 and 17 October respectively, and were attended by representatives from many research funding agencies from across South East Asia and Europe.The meetings were hosted by the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) Thailand and the  Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS).

In this first call, two areas of research were selected for funding; firstly projects related to health, focusing specifically on anti-microbial drug resistance and emerging infectious diseases, and secondly, on projects relating to the environment and climate change which have a specific focus on adaptation / resilience of food production systems, and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and biodiversity.

The successful proposals were announced in December, and are expected to start in the early months of 2018. Given the considerable success of the 1st Call, the JFS Secretariat received unanimous support from those present to hold a 2nd Call in 2018. It is hoped that this continuation will attract even more participating countries and funding agencies from both regions to fund many more joint projects in the future.

EVENT

International Expert Workshop on "Towards Urban Water Security in Southeast Asia: Managing Risk of Extreme Events"

Southeast Asia is steadily urbanizing. Growing urbanization brings number of challenges, which are all threatening urban and water security by imposing significant strains on urban and water systems and other resources. Ongoing variability and change in climate, corresponding increase in magnitude and frequency of extreme events, and associated governance challenges are contributing to urban water insecurity in many ways, and therefore have implications for urban sustainability.
Event Date:
Posted on 28. Sep. 2017
Location / Venue
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Country
Cambodia

As water is at the heart of energy, food and ecosystem it is the key resource to support urban habitants and their health. Extreme events also a threat to the sustainable utilization of those resources. Under such pressures, adequate strategies and measures, including climate change and adaptation, are required to characte rize and manage risks of extreme events on urban water, energy, food and ecosystem.

Sustainable solutions to these challenges should maximize opportunities for optimizing water use efficiency, harnessing the knowledge of current and future state of water resources, generating resources from urban waste, and pooling available resources by working collaboratively and coordinately. To learn from current practices and prepare for the future urban centers, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in collaboration with Institute of Technology Cambodia (ITC), Cambodia, and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore is organizing a two-day international expert workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia under the theme "Towards Urban Water Security in Southeast Asia: Managing the Risk of Extreme Events". It provides a platform to share research and better practices for managing risks of extreme events to urban water security among academia, research scholars, professionals, practitioners and government authorities in Southeast Asia and beyond

Key Information about the Workshop:

KEY DATES

  • Submission of expression of interest and abstract:7 July, 2015
  • Notification of acceptance:15 July, 2015
  • Submission of full paper:15 October, 2015
  • Workshop: 19-20 November, 2015

SUBMISSION OF EXPRESSION OF INTEREST & ABSTRACT

Please fill the online form available at: http://goo.gl/forms/MLFnqB5BM r

CONTACT

Dr. Vishnu Prasad Pandey (Email: vishnu@ait.asia)

Tags
EVENT

TEDx: Innovations from Europe and Vietnam

Speakers from Europe and Vietnam share ideas concerning both 'Urban Innovations' and 'Health Innovations'
Event Date:
Posted on 28. Sep. 2017
Important
Location / Venue
Lotte Hotel Hanoi
Country
Vietnam

Promoting ground-breaking urban and health innovations is the aim of an inspiring event, based on the TED concept, that will take place in Hanoi on Friday 20 May 2016 (14h00-17h30). The Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam and the Embassy of the Netherlands – with support of TEDx Community of Hanoi – welcome you to attend this event, where business leaders, policy makers, researchers and students will discuss innovative solutions. Be part of ʻTEDx Innovations from Europe and Vietnamʼ – to learn, to question, to connect and to be inspired!

Register (until 12 May, 18:00) to get one of the 200 free tickets: http://tedxcommunityofhanoi.com/innovations

EVENT

The Current State of Research in Southeast Asia

An analysis of co-publication and co-patenting activity
Event Date:
Posted on 27. Sep. 2017
Important
Location / Venue
Waghor 1 Room, National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI) L14, Chamchuri Square, Bangkok
Country
Thailand

Southeast Asia has doubled its share of the world's research publication output over the last decade. The number of annual international patent applications involving ASEAN-based inventors has tripled from the early 2000s to the early 2010s.

A research team of the EU-funded SEA-EU-NET project carried out a study assessing the research output in ASEAN Member States from 2000 to 2014. The lead author of the study, Alexander Degelsegger, Centre for Social Innovation, Austria will present the key findings and other scientometric indicators on Southeast Asian research and discuss what lessons lie behind

Participation is free of charge. Lunch will be served following the seminar. Please register your attendance here

Supported by: The EU funded SEA-EU-NET 2 project and Thailand’s National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office