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NMRC Researchers will Present Findings at Annual Meeting on Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Story by Steve Van Der Werff
Naval Medical Research Center

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) researchers and their colleagues from across the Navy Medicine Research and Development Enterprise will present their latest findings at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s (ASTMH) Annual Meeting Oct. 28 – Nov. 1.

The meeting will be held at the Sheraton New Orleans and New Orleans Marriott, and will focus on research related to tropical medicine and disease, hygiene, and global health.

“At NMRC and throughout the Naval Medical Research and Development Enterprise, we give great attention to the distinct infectious diseases countermeasure needs of Navy and Marine Corps,” said Dr. Kevin Porter, director, Infectious Diseases Directorate. “We are unmistakably committed to exploring newer and better ways to improve the readiness of our Sailors and Marines who operate in areas of the world where potentially mission-aborting infectious diseases exist.”

During workshops, poster presentations, meetings, and lectures the researchers will discuss their work on sepsis, dengue, multidrug resistant bacteria, malaria, and other infectious diseases, and will be joined by colleagues from across the entire Navy Medicine research and development enterprise.

They will highlight their innovative work and discuss how current research improves mission readiness. Topics include:
– “Countering the threat of antibiotic-resistance: bacteriophage based approaches”
– “Prevalence of Dengue virus, Chikungunya virus, and Zika virus determined through Enhanced Surveillance of Emerging Infectious Diseases in Malaysia”
– “A study on field testing insecticide-treated barrier screens for protection from host-seeking, exophilic mosquitoes in the northern Peruvian Amazon”

Lt. Cmdr. Nicholas Martin, deputy director, Defense Malaria Assistance Program, Naval Medical Research Center – Asia will travel from as far away as Singapore. He will deliver an update to research being achieved on the epidemiology of imported malaria cases in Vietnam among returning nationals.

“Resistance to anti-malarial drugs threatens to shrink the arsenal of treatments available to the Department of Defense (DoD),” Martin said. “Malaria, invisible to rapid diagnostic tests, presents a direct threat to the warfighter and to the many tools used by the DoD to detect malaria.”

A key contributor to NMRC’s success in tropical medicine and hygiene is its Infectious Diseases Directorate (IDD). The directorate consists of four research departments: Malaria, Enteric Diseases, Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, and Wound Infections.

“In IDD, we are working to find better preventive measures, diagnostics, and treatments for the infectious diseases that have the greatest impact on the military. The pathogens we are working on have the potential to disable a large number of deployed forces in a very short time, and seriously impact mission readiness and execution. Most of them are major tropical public health concerns, such as malaria, dengue, and other arthropod-borne viruses, and bacterial diarrhea, which is also called traveler’s diarrhea,” said Cmdr. Stockelman, deputy director, Infectious Diseases Directorate. “We also have a program to address the antibiotic resistance crisis in wound infections. Because these are global diseases, it’s really valuable for us to come to ASTMH and bring together the investigators from across our Enterprise and the whole tropical medicine field.”

As the largest scientific organization of experts dedicated to reducing the burden of infectious disease, the ASTMH Annual Meeting draws more than 4,000 attendees from around the world and provides an opportunity for tropical medicine and global health professionals, military personnel, researchers, industry leaders, and academics to exchange scientific knowledge and information.

About Naval Medical Research Center

NMRC’s eight laboratories are engaged in a broad spectrum of activity from basic science in the laboratory to field studies at sites in austere and remote areas of the world to operational environments. In support of the Navy, Marine Corps, and joint U.S. warfighters, researchers study infectious diseases, biological warfare detection and defense, combat casualty care, environmental health concerns, aerospace and undersea medicine, medical modeling, simulation and operational mission support, and epidemiology and behavioral sciences.
NMRC and the laboratories deliver high-value, high-impact research products to support and protect today’s deployed warfighters. At the same time researchers are focused on the readiness and well-being of future forces.

To learn more about NMRC, visit https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmrc.

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