In the wake of the bird flu epidemic, Mahidol University launched a series of research activities that have helped bolster Thailandís and global control and prevention of the virulent disease.
A Mahidol research team led by
Prof. Dr. Pilaipan Puthavathana conducted a study on the genome of H5N1 virus collected from the first five Thai patients afflicted with the disease as well as from poultry origin.
When it was compared with those found in other countries including the strain that first emerged in Hong Kong in 1997, the team found mutations in the H5NI virus from Thailand that made them resistant to amantadine, an anti-influenza drug. The findings received worldwide attention due to limited information on H5N1 isolated from human at that time.
And in collaboration with national and international partner institutes, Mahidol University conducted an integrated research project on the surveillance of transmission of bird flu in all types of interfaceómigratory birds to domestic animals, avian to avian species, avian to domestic pets such as dogs and cats, animals to humans, and humans to humans.
This multicenter project was led also by
Prof. Dr. Pilaipan; with Assoc. Prof Parntep Ratanakorn, Faculty of Veterinary Science, chairing the subproject on animal infections; Dr. Kumnuan Ungchusak from the Bureau of Epidemiology, Ministry of Public Health, chairing that on human infections and surveillance of bird flu cases among severe pneumonia patients living in outbreak areas; and
Prof. Dr. Prasert Auewarakul in charge of that on genetic evolution of the viruses.
Mahidol University also functioned as the parallel laboratory of the Department of Medical Science, Ministry of Public Health in diagnosing the first imported case of the 2009 pandemic A (H1N1).
Date : May 9, 2011