In cooperation with the Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand, RCC-ERI serves as an international research base under the Program of Founding Research Centers for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases, which was launched by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in 2005. RCC-ERI conducts research within the framework of the Japan Initiative for Global Research Network on Infectious Diseases, which was launched by MEXT in 2010 and transferred to the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development in 2015. It has established the Divisions of Bacterial Infections and Viral Infections to conduct studies mainly on tropical infections under the Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand.
Division of Bacterial Infections
Although enteric infections caused by various species of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa are common in Thailand, their pathogens and pathogenic factors have yet to be well elucidated. Therefore, the Division of Bacterial Infections conducts studies in patients with severe diarrheal diseases in Thailand, such as cholera, to establish a method to quickly detect their causative microorganisms and to develop prophylactic treatments. Through these studies, the Division aims to facilitate early detection and rapid response to the emergence and spread of new strains of cholera.
Division of Viral Infections
The Division of Viral Infections conducts studies on viral enteric infections and mosquito-borne infections, which are repeatedly found in Asian countries, including Thailand and Japan, in cooperation with the researchers of the Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand. For example, it is engaged in studies to understand the mechanism of severe infectious diseases such as dengue fever, Chikungunya fever, and the Zika virus, which have been present in Thailand since ancient times as well as to elucidate their pathogenicity. Furthermore, to determine whether pandemics of noroviruses, which cause enteric viral infections, can be predicted, the Division conducts molecular epidemiological studies of pandemic strains of noroviruses confirmed in Thailand and investigates the mechanism of their subclinical infection.