DOST-PCHRD, Medical Research Council-UK collaborate for research projects on infectious diseases

Published January 23, 2022, 12:21 PM

by Gabriela Baron

The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) collaborated with Medical Research Council-United Kingdom for three projects on infectious diseases in the country.

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” de la Peña (Screencap from DOSTv)

In a taped report, DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” de la Peña said the Department has supported the implementation of three OMIC Technologies for Health projects that are implemented under the Newton-Aghan research and development (R&D) partnership between the two parties.

“The three projects actually cover the so-called OMIC research on infectious diseases of pressing relevance in the Philippines,” de la Peña explained.

The first project, entitled CRISTAL Project, aims to analyze cellular and antibody responses among Filipinos affected with schistosomiasis — before and after treatment, and during re-infection.

According to DOST, the results of the project are envisioned to provide a better understanding of the host immune response to Schistosoma infection and to chart the future development of vaccines.

Led by Dr. Mario Antonio L. Jiz of the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM), the four-year research, which started in January 2019, is in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The second project aims to develop a risk score protocol that can be utilized in hospitals or in the clinic that will be able to identify active tuberculosis patient cases, monitor, and evaluate treatment response.

It is led by Dr. Mari Rose A. De Los Reyes of the RITM.

The third project, called ZOOTRIP, aims to determine effective and sustainable parasite elimination and control strategies in endemic areas.

Started in January 2019, ZOOTRIP project focuses on the Southern Philippines, particularly in the Caraga Region, where different forms of worm infections are widespread.

The project is led by Dr. Vachel Gay V. Paller of the Institute of Biological Science of the University of the Philippines (UP) Baños in partnership with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Surrey, UP Manila, and the Department of Health-Mindanao Cluster.