Mai Le of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Vietnam will expand Vietnam’s systematic surveillance and sequencing capacities to detect potential pandemic pathogens, including influenza and coronaviruses, and incorporate agnostic sequencing of conventionally undiagnosed pathogens. They will build on the existing infrastructure of the influenza-like illnesses sentinel surveillance network, which collects samples from four outpatient clinics, to include testing for both influenza A and B and SARS-CoV-2 viruses, with the possibility to expand. They will also revive the hospital-based Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) surveillance network, which works with three hospital emergency departments and ICUs, to focus on 12 pathogens and incorporate an agnostic sequencing component. Their activities will include training health workers in sample collection and scientists in directed and agnostic sequencing of respiratory pathogens and bioinformatics analysis. The data produced will be shared in real-time on an online dashboard.
This grant is one of three grants that are funded and administered by the Programme for Research in Epidemic Preparedness and Response (PREPARE) in Singapore.