Rickettsial diseases such as scrub typhus are important causes of fever in southeast Asia especially in rural communities. Discovered quite recently and not big killers, these diseases are among the most under-reported and under-diagnosed illnesses that are both treatable and preventable.
Rickettsial studies at he Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) focus on the epidemiology and incidence of the disease using hospital-based fever studies in Thailand and Laos. Our research unit has developed highly improved acute diagnosis of rickettsial illness. MORU also has ongoing studies to determine the pathophysiological mechanisms of scrub typhus infection.