Researcher hopes study will help future patient care


Fieldhouse (second from left) with her team taking time off to visit a Malay family.

Fieldhouse (second from left) with her team taking time off to visit a Malay family.

SIBU: The Duke University research team participating in respiratory virus research in Sibu and Kapit hope that the results of their study will help medical personnel in Sarawak make informed decisions on how to care for patients.

The team, comprising Jane Fieldhouse, Kerry Mallinson, Rick Tsao, Laura Borkenhagen and Sarak Philo (all Masters students) as well as post-doctorate student Kristen Coleman, were here from June to August to conduct their research at the newly set up clinical research centre (CRC) at the Sibu Hospital.

They had taken between 500 and 600 samples from patients with pneumonia, diarrhea and influenza virus in Sibu and Kapit hospitals for analysis.

Team leader Fieldhouse said their studies also allowed them to monitor respiratory viruses that may be circulating in different settings across Sibu and Kapit, including markets and farms where animals are raised.

“Our studies are ongoing and we are continuing to monitor the prevalence of different pathogens because they can differ between seasons,” she said via email.

Fieldhouse added that the teams at Duke University, Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore and Duke Kunshan University in China were primarily interested in pathogens, such as different types of viruses that may be emerging in various settings across Sarawak where humans and animals come into frequent contact.

“This is thanks to our collaboration with medical officers at Sibu and Kapit hospitals, as well as the Sibu Hospital clinical research centre and

“At Segi University, we have successfully set up a laboratory which enables clinicians to determine which viruses may be causing respiratory illness in a patient,” she said.