About the Center

The Mahidol Vivax Research Unit (MVRU), established in March 2011, is a Center of Excellence focused on the biology of malaria parasite transmission, including mosquito and human liver stages, in Non-African countries. MVRU is based at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University (FTM-MU), Bangkok, Thailand.

The MVRU is currently focusing on the study of P. vivax and other malaria species causing disease in Thailand, including P. falciparum, P. malariae and P. ovale.

Research conducted at the MVRU is aimed at understanding malaria transmission and infection. Research includes infection transmission dynamics of malaria gametocytes in endemic areas in Thailand and Asia, characterizing factors involved in hypnozoite formation and relapse of liver stage P. vivax parasites, to elucidate factors in mosquito vectors for parasite development and transmission, development of new tools for malaria diagnosis especially for non-falciparum malaria, when parasitemia levels are relatively low.

The MVRU has routine access to P. vivax-infected blood, providing P. vivax infected blood to Anopheles vectors; consequently, the MVRU is one of only a few centers in the world that support the validation of transmission blocking vaccines, especially for P. vivax.

The Director of the center is Dr. Jetsumon (Sattabongkot) Prachumsri. Prior to joining the MVRU, Dr. Jetsumon was Chief of the Laboratory Science Section, Department of Entomology, U.S.A. Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Science (AFRIMS), Bangkok, Thailand. With over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals, Dr. Jetsumon and her research team have over 35 years combined experience in malaria research.

The knowledge gained at MVRU will be used to develop new interventions and a national control program.

The center's field laboratory is located at Kanchanaburi Campus, Mahidol University, near the border with Myanmar (Burma)

MVRU field laboratory – Tropical Disease Research Center – Kanchanaburi