Funder: OUCRU (Wellcome funding)

PIs: Le Van Tan, Rogier van Doorn

Location of activity: Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Viet Nam


Most clinical research to date has been focusing on COVID-19 patients with moderately severe to severe disease because these are groups of patients that are admitted to hospitals for management worldwide. As a consequence, little is known about the natural history and transmission potential of completely asymptomatic and very mild infection with SARS-CoV-2.

We are in a unique position to study the natural history of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to the strict isolation, quarantine and contract tracing protocols enacted in Viet Nam. We are able, therefore, to recruit patients into our studies at all stages of infection, including pre- and asymptomatic carriers.

We also aim to evaluate the utility potential of wearable devices in monitoring COVID-19 patients remotely, thereby reducing the risk of transmission for healthcare workers.



Our aim is to better understand the natural history of the infection. This is important to inform the development of intervention strategies and is highly relevant for the current global response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.



  1. To describe the clinical, laboratory and virological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection;
  2. To study the immune responses in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients;
  3. To identify potential protein markers that can predict severe disease;
  4. To unravel the evolutionary history of SARS-CoV-2 at both within the human host and population-level;
  5. to evaluate the utility potential of rapid antigen tests for the diagnostics and management of COVID-19 patients;
  6. To develop and sustain a research platform at key institutes and hospitals in Viet Nam to enable the country to rapidly respond to emerging infection outbreaks in the future.


Outputs to date:

  • Huynh Kim Mai, Nguyen Bao Trieu, Trinh Hoang Long et al. Long-Term Humoral Immune Response in Persons with Asymptomatic or Mild SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Viet Nam. Emerging Infectious Diseases [Internet] 2021;27(2):663-666. Available from:
  • ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Group. COVID-19 symptoms at hospital admission vary with age and sex: results from the ISARIC prospective multinational observational study. Infection [Internet] 2021; Available from:
  • Le Van Tan, Nghiem My Ngoc, Bui Thi Ton That et al. Duration of viral detection in throat and rectum of a patient with COVID-19. [Internet] 2020;Available from:
  • Le Van Tan, Nguyen Thi Thu Hong, Nghiem My Ngoc et al. SARS-CoV-2 and co-infections detection in nasopharyngeal throat swabs of COVID-19 patients by metagenomics. Journal of Infection [Internet] 2020;81(2):e175-e177. Available from:
  • Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Ho Bich Hai, Greeff Heloise et al. Wearable remote monitoring for patients with COVID-19 in low-resource settings: case study [Internet]. BMJ Innovations. 2021. Available from:
  • Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Le Mau Toan, Dinh Nguyen Huy Man et al. Absence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in health care workers of a tertiary referral hospital for COVID-19 in southern Viet Nam. Journal of Infection [Internet] 2021;82(1):e36-e37. Available from:
  • Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Nguyen Tri Dung, Geskus Ronald et al. Proactive response and innovative approaches to SARS-CoV-2 in Viet Nam [Internet]. 2021; Available from:
  • Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Vo Thanh Lam, Nguyen Thanh Dung et al. The Natural History and Transmission Potential of Asymptomatic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection. Clinical Infectious Diseases [Internet] 2020;71(10):2679-2687. Available from:
  • Ton That Thanh, Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan, Nguyen To Anh et al. SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads in Vietnamese children. Journal of Infection [Internet] 2022 Jan 13:S0163-4453(22)00012-3. Available from: