大阪-マヒドン感染症センター - About Us -

研究グループ

Backgrounds
The world has been witnessing several episodes of emergence as well as reemergence of severe infectious diseases in humans, e.g., E. coli O157, SARS-coronavirus, and highly pathogenic or pandemic influenza viruses such as avian-origin H5N1 and swine-origin pandemic H1N1. Many of these infections are originated from animals and are transmitted to man, mainly due to genetic and/or biological adaptations. Such emerging and reemerging pathogens as well as their increased severity are of public health concern and pose significant threats to the security of common citizens in various countries. Some of these infections have potentials for epidemic or pandemic spreads that would raise a public health emergency locally or even worldwide.

Objective
The objective of MOCID that was established by the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University and the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases (RIMD), Osaka University, is to perform the basic research in the field of microbial diseases that can lead to the application to develop prophylactic vaccines as well as therapeutic strategies to control such emerging and reemerging infections, especially those prevalent in Asian countries.

Missions of MOCID

The Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University and RIMD, Osaka University will focus on the basic laboratory research fields such as host-microbe interaction, replication, genomics, host immune responses, and virulence factors of pathogenic microbes that are prevalent in Thailand. In many cases, we will use model animals and natural hosts. These collaboration researches will efficiently progress towards the clinical trials of prophylactic vaccines and therapeutic products. In case of further need for collaboration, we would invite research collaborators from other universities and research institutes, e.g., National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan side and other faculties of Mahidol University as well as Chulalongkorn University in Thai side.

  • Mosquito-borne Infectious Diseases
    We will focus on dengue virus inducing dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever that are a leading cause of death in tropical and subtropical countries. In Thailand, all four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV-1 to DENV-4) are circulating. We collaborate to clarify the heterogeneity of Thai isolates of all 4 serotypes derived from patients with primary and secondary infections.
    In addition, we also focus on chikungunya virus by preparing human monoclonal antibodies for the development of therapeutics as well as diagnostics. Epidemiology of this virus is also our important target.
  • Respiratory Infectious Diseases
    We will focus on the heterogeneity in the virulence of Thai isolates of influenza virus including swine-origin pandemic influenza virus H1N1 as well as highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1.
  • Blood-borne Infectious Diseases
    One of the characteristics of HIV is the high mutation of its viral genome during replication and different subtypes are distributing in individual countries. This is the major obstacle for the development of vaccine commonly effective among different subtypes. We have characterized HIV CRF01_AE distributing in Thailand and reported several unique profiles in this AE type. For the prophylaxis of HIV infection, specific responses of both humoral as well as cell-mediated immunities are believed to be necessary. We will initiate to characterize human neutralizing epitopes on AE type of HIV by human monoclonal antibody preparations using the peripheral blood mononuclear cells derived from AIDS patients and asymptomatic carriers.
  • Intestinal Infectious Diseases
    We will focus on the significance of colonization (adhesion) factors (followed by toxins) of enteropathogenic bacteria, which are required for the initial step of infections, in order to develop vaccine that would effectively prevent the infections before cell numbers become large.

Budgets & Duration for MOCID Research

The Program of Founding Research Centers for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases launced by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) ).
Project duration
April 1, 2010 – March 31, 2015 for 5 years.