A training workshop on emerging respiratory virus threats was organized 10-13 April 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Workshop participants were mainly from the National Institute of Veterinary Research of Vietnam (NIVR). It was a kick-off of possible joint research projects between Duke University (USA), Duke-NUS Medical School (Singapore), the NIVR (Vietnam), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Navy Medical Research Center – Asia (Singapore).
A primary objective of the research projects is to examine the ecology of four types of respiratory viruses circulating in the north of Vietnam including influenza A, B, C, and D, adenoviruses, coronaviruses, and enteroviruses. Secondary objectives include infrastructure development through capacity building of diagnostics among Vietnamese professionals in the animal and human sectors within a One Health context.
Participants were trained on One Health research approaches and surveillance for novel respiratory viruses. They also reviewed biosafety principles, handling of infectious materials and the background of emergent zoonotic pathogens, which is critical in meeting the primary objective of surveillance for novel respiratory viruses.
Nguyen Viet Hung, regional representative of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in East and Southeast Asia, said, ‘the training will pave the way for further cooperation in human-animal health research which is a pressing public risk for influenza but has been sparsely conducted in the country.’
Gregory Gray from Duke University and Duke-National University of Singapore was a key trainer in the workshop. He said the university was ‘pleased to be exploring collaborative research ideas with the professionals at NIVR and ILRI and to working with them and their colleagues.’
A number of potential research ideas were discussed at the workshop. Participants were keen to develop One Health surveillance for novel respiratory viruses at human-animal interfaces in Vietnam.
Duke University hopes to partner with NIVR, ILRI, and the Navy Medical Research Center – Asia in conducting research projects in Vietnam similar to those his One Health teams are conducting in China, Malaysia, Mongolia, and Singapore.