Etiological study of severe acute respiratory infections in Northern Thailand

Advisor :

Woottichai Khamduang, PhD Assistant Professor, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University

Dr. Nicole Ngo-Giang-Huong

Lecturer Dr. Sayamon Hongjaisee

Background and Rationale

Surveillance and regularly monitoring of pathogens is important for the readiness and response to the outbreak of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) . Existing research studies on SARI diseases mainly focus on viral infections in children, since SARI is the main cause of hospitalization in children under 5 years of age and the main cause of fever in infants younger than 3 months. Epidemiological characteristics and significant proportions of viral dispersion in adult SARI patients remains limited in developing countries, including Thailand. Interestingly, most of the samples from SARI patients (approximately 40-60%) cannot be detected for the causative pathogens by PCR method or serology testing. Moreover, mixed infections within one sample can also occur. We hypothesize that “In fact, there may be a new virus(es)/ new strain that has not yet been discovered as the cause of SARI in adult populations”. Therefore, we aim to study the demographic and epidemiological characteristics of SARI, identify the etiology, and evaluate clinical data related to SARIs who admitted to hospitals in Chiang Mai and nearby provinces.

Primary Objectives

- To study the demographic and epidemiological characteristics of adult SARI patients in Northern Thailand

- To identify the etiology and assess the distribution of potential causative pathogens in clinical samples from the respiratory tract using advanced molecular technologies, including multiplex real-time RT-PCR and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS)

- To evaluate clinical data related to SARI and assess the relationship between identified pathogens and clinical symptoms

Study period:

Since July 2022 - Now