The RITM-Tohoku Collaborating Research Center on Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases was established in 2008 between Tohoku University and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), which is the national reference center for emerging and remerging diseases in the Philippines. The main objective of the center is to strengthen the capacity of the RITM. We are therefore elucidating causative agents and conduct epidemiological analysis of major infectious diseases from public health perspectives in order to establish the sustainable control programs for infectious diseases in the Philippines. We actively conduct field research together with local hospitals and other local-level institutions and are also collaborating with international research institutes and institutes in Japan and the Philippines.
Although infectious diseases are the biggest health problem in the Philippines, the actual situations is still not fully understood. Our research outcomes will contribute to the establishment of sustainable infection control measures in the Philippines and can also be applicable to other developing countries through the international organizations. Young researchers play an important role in our research projects and they are expected to become international leaders in infectious diseases control in the future.
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has been established in1981 by JICA, according to the agreement between Japan government andPhilippines government in 1979. At first, the medical ward with 50 bedhas been constructed followed by animal facilities (1984), training center (1989), National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory (2002). With those facilities, RITM has capacity to conduct the training or workshop for the heal workers in the provinces.Under the Department of Health, RITM has a role to conduct the research on infectious diseases or tropical diseases and to function as a national reference laboratory in the Philippines. Furthermore, it is functioning as referral hospital during the outbreaks of the emerging diseases such as SARS or A(H1N1)pdm09.
Hitoshi Oshitani; Mayuko Saito; Taro Kamigaki; Michiko Okamoto; Clyde Dapat, Mariko Saito-Obata
Socorro P. Lupisan; Lydia T. Sombrero; Amado O. Tandoc; Beatriz P. Quiambao; Edlwisa S. Mercado
It is estimated that over 200,000 children aged less than 5 years died because of diarrhea caused by Norovirus in developing countries. We conduct a cohort study to catch accurate situation and significance of the infection in a community in the Philippines. We also develop diagnostic system for the infection with and immune status against the virus.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of severe respiratory infections among children in not only developing countries but also developed countries including Japan. There is a need for comprehensive knowledge about the infections such as basic epidemiology, transmission dynamics and risk factors for exacerbation; which can grant us scientific evidence for effective measurement against the infections. We conduct a cohort study to achieve that.
Dengue fever is endemic in all parts of the Philippines. In addition, infections with Chikungunya virus are reported in wide area of the country. The country is also at risk of Zika virus infection, which have caused large outbreak in South America, although little is known about the virus in the Philippines. To comprehend situation of such mosquito-transmitted viral diseases in the country, we establish database of genetic information of the viruses circulating in the country in collaboration with national surveillance team.
Emergence of drug-resistant bacteria is a global concern. To understand current situation of the drug-resistant bacteria in the Philippines is important issue not only for the country but also for Japan. We conduct a research on molecular epidemiology of Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing organisms to identify majority of drug-resistant clones in the country. We also develop rapid diagnostic system for the identified clones for infection control there, and for improvement and expansion of database of drug-resistant bacteria.
We establish research facility which can run clinical and epidemiological study in high quality. The research facility can be used to gather clinical, epidemiological and genomic information of various infectious diseases in the Philippines and Japan. Such information can be shared with other institutes such as National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan. The facility also offers a great opportunity for young researchers and health workers from Japan to learn and acquire experience of field epidemiology and tropical diseases.