Establishing a hospital-based nationwide sero-surveillance system in Viet Nam

Viet Nam Principal Investigators: Marc Choisy and Rogier van Doorn

Funder: OUCRU (Wellcome Core Funding)

Timeline:
Started in 2009 with 10 hospitals in southern VN, expanded with 10 hospitals in northern Viet Nam in 2019, ongoing.

Objectives:
This project aims to establish and run a nationally representative serum bank for Viet Nam, as a resource for researchers and policymakers to understand infectious disease emergence, transmission, immunity and vaccination in the population.

The serum bank periodically collects age-stratified residual serum samples from hospital labs in order to establish both a cross-sectional and longitudinal collection.

Significance:
The platform’s strategic importance has been accentuated by COVID-19 and is as follows:
● It enhances OUCRU’s relevance to and impact upon public health in Viet Nam, supporting outbreak responses and prevention.
● It creates a substantial long-term longitudinal research resource, allowing OUCRU to address multiple research questions concerning the epidemiology of emerging and vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, but also infectious diseases for which the transmission is difficult to understand, either because part of it is not directly tractable (e.g. TB or COVID-19), or because of complex immunological processes (e.g. dengue, influenza).
● Vaccine-preventable and emerging infections, and the serum bank itself, is a part of the strategic vision for OUCRU in the applications for bridging and core funding with Wellcome.

Output(s) to date
Studies on influenza, tetanus and measles have been completed.

We are awaiting funding for large-scale COVID-19 research in the current and future collections to study background immunity, population-level exposure (currently very low due to Viet Nam’s successful COVID-19 response) and vaccine coverage