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Knowledge Transfer Program On Vector-Borne Diseases

Apart from from maintaining the biobank resources, the outpost also conducts research in diseases transmitted by ticks and other related arthropods, including chiggers and fleas, which affect the rural communities in Malaysia. Studies in the Orang Asli and oil palm plantation communities have identified the presence of several neglected arthropod-borne infectious agents, including Rickettsia, Borrelia and Coxiella. Surveillance studies have shown that the rural communities in Malaysia are at risks to the infections of these agents. However, there is still lack of effective diagnostics for these infections. Consequently, these diseases remain under-diagnosed and under-appreciated in our country. Using the resources available from the biobank, the outpost will attempt to conduct in-depth investigations into the biology and genetics of these infectious agents, as well as to generate the reagents for improving the diagnostic and treatment options for these diseases in the future.


In addition, the outpost also conduct outreach activities among the communities affected by these arthropod-borne diseases. Interactive workshops were organized for the Orang Asli communities or rural school children with the aim of improving their awareness in the public health risks associated with the arthropod-borne infectious agents. Workshop attendees participated in our “lab-on-the-field” and were also trained in hygiene practices to prevent disease transmission. It is our hope that the outreach activities will also inspire the younger generation of these under-served communities to have greater interests in science education and research.


Community Engagement Workshop among Orang Asli Communities