ACTIVITIES OF THE CENTRE FOR DENGUE RESEARCH

Since its establishment in September 2012, the Centre for Dengue Research (CDR) has had 14 publications in high impact factor, indexed international journals, 19 presentations in international conferences and 16 presentations in conferences held in Sri Lanka. The research carried out by the CDR has been awarded 3 international research awards and 4 research awards in Sri Lanka.

At the time of establishment, the research carried out by the CDR was done in collaboration with the MRC Human Immunology Unit, University of Oxford and also with the Department of Microbiology of the National University of Singapore. However, since its establishment, the CDR has established new collaborations with the Institute of Glycobiology and antiviral research, University of Oxford; with Duke-NUS, Singapore; National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan and University of North Carolina, USA. Many researchers from these universities have visited the CDR and have engaged in research activities in its laboratories from time to time.

Prof. Nicole Zitzmann and her post doctoral student from University of Oxford working in CDR laboratories in January 2016.

The centre has also conducted many one day symposiums on research

Prof. Oscar Perng, from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan during one of the one day dengue symposiums.

Current activities

The CDR is currently carrying out a phase II clinical trial to determine the efficacy of a drug named rupatadine in the treatment of dengue infection at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, Sri Lanka. This drug has now been given to 140 patients with dengue.

Dr. Supun Samarasekara, carrying out ultra sound scans in patients recruited for the drug trial.

The researchers of the CDR are also carrying out several projects to determine other mediators that lead to vascular leak in dengue and also trying to find out other drug targets that can be used for treatment of dengue. In addition, they are carrying out research projects to find out why dengue becomes very severe only in some people.

Apart from research on drug targets, clinical trial and immune responses in dengue, the CDR is also in the process of finding out the use of sterile mosquitoes as an approach to control the vector. This will be fully funded by a company named Oxitec and this activity will be done in collaboration with the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka.

Discussions with Oxitec at Sri Jayewardenepura University and the Ministry of Health

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