The working and teaching language is English. We always welcome motivated students, young scientists and doctoral students to join our team in Hanoi and Tübingen.
Oral Artesunate Therapy for Colorectal Cancer
Artesunate is a cheap and orally available widely used antimalarial drug that has shown to exert anticancer properties in in -vitro models. A randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled phaseII study of oral artesunate therapy for colorectal cancer is ongoing. The study aims to compare oral artesunate to placebo to treat colorectal cancer. More Information can be obtained from: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03093129.
A strong research focus of the cooperation has always been the large field of viral hepatitis. Our particular interests are host-hepatitis virus interactions. Topics of research include distinct features of hepatitis B, hepatitis D and hepatitis E viral infections. The team has shown that, hepatitis E virus superinfection can aggravate clinical progression in hepatitis B patients and that HEV remains an underestimated burden in Vietnam where HBV prevalence is reported to be >15% in the population. Earlier studies include the identification of recombinant hepatitis delta virus genotypes, the epidemiology of hepatitis D viruses in Vietnam, the role of MICB and MICA levels and genetic variants in hepatitis viruses and host genetic factors associated with hepatitis B.
Studies on cerbrospinal fluid from patients with severe neurological symptoms and fever
Current cooperative research projects focus on the identification of causes of fever associated with neurological symptoms. This involves technical support and educational measures, partly supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), e.g. the establishment of advanced tools and techniques for the diagnosis of endemic infectious diseases at both the 108 Military Central Hospital and the Vietnam Military Medical University.
Human coevolution with Bifidobacterium and the microbial contribution to lactose tolerance in Vietnam (VU-Bif)
Recent studies on the heritability and global population structure of human-associated bacteria suggest specific taxa may be important for particular metabolic functions. One such function is the ability to digest milk post-weaning. One hypothesized mechanism for an alternative tolerance phenotype is microbial processing of lactose in the small intestine, potentially by the commensal bacteria Bifidobacterium. Bifidobacterium are highly abundant in all infant guts regardless of genotype or geography, and play a critical role in infant immune system development and breastmilk metabolism. The study aims to determine the frequency of microbial lactose tolerance in Vietnam, a population with low lactase persistence genotype frequency. We aim to assess if the microbial mechanism that confers tolerance by investigating on the functional profiles of microbiomes (and Bifidobacterium genomes in particular) from both infants and adults in Vietnamese population. The discovery of a lactose tolerant phenotype derived from human associated Bifidobacterium would be the first demonstration of adaptation to a novel diet driven by the human microbiome, rather than the human genome. The study is sponsored by Department of Microbiome Sciences, Max Planck Institute- Tübingen.
DAAD-PAGEL program (2015-2018)
A program funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) aims to establish international partnerships in the health sector with the goal of supporting sustainable development of education and training capacities. This program combines summer and winter schools both in Vietnam and Germany with a main focus on tropical and non-tropical infectious diseases. These educational units are accessible for physicians, biologists and medical students and comprise not only of theoretical units, but also of practical instruction in diagnostic techniques.
Antimicrobial resistances and sepsis
Surgical site infection (SSI) is common in Vietnamese post-operative patients. Hospital acquired bacterial infections after surgical interventions and antibiotic resistances are a major health threat in Vietnam. Increasing occurrence of pathogens resistant to a wide spectrum of antibiotics is alarming, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or resistance of betalactamases (ESBL)/carbapenemases enterobacteriacea. Systematic statistics on the betalactamase genotypes that cause epidemics are lacking.