The Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine was established in 1960, with the founding of the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, to pursue research and training in tropical diseases prevalent in Thailand and thereby contribute to the advancement of knowledge and clinical care in tropical medicine. The Department has a long and proud history of contributions to clinical care and research, especially in malaria, AIDS, melioidosis, leptospirosis, scrub typhus, and avian influenza. The major focus for malaria is the search for complicated and uncomplicated multi-drug resistant falciparum malaria.
Combinations of various antimalarials have been evaluated, especially artesunate or artemether followed by mefloquine, which was found to be the drug of choice for an alternative treatment for multidrug-resistant malaria. The Department, as part of the Faculty, was appointed the WHO Collaborating Centre for Clinical Management of Malaria. Departmental staff have also actively performed various research and clinical trials in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and various national and international academic institutes, searching for a suitable AIDS vaccine for Thailand over the past 14 years. We are the only group to have conducted two efficacy trials involving rgp120 and vector-based HIV vaccines. Apart from their work on AIDS vaccines, the staff have also participated in multi-centre trials of Quadrivalent HPV vaccine for cervical cancer, which was licensed last year. The research grant received was more than 60 millions baht in the year 2007. Staff of the Department are actively involved with major clinical trials for the treatment of melioidosis, in close collaboration with various institutes, including Oxford University, Khon Kaen University, and other hospitals, such as Sappasithiprasong and Ubon Ratchathani hospitals. Antiviral drugs, using a variety of new dosages and regimens, have been tested for novel treatments for avian influenza. Over the past 20 years, more than 1,000 articles related to the above diseases have been published in international peer-reviewed journals.