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Navy Medicine > Naval Health Research Center > Navy Hub AFHSC-GEIS > Research Projects

Research Projects

Current Operational Infectious Diseases Studies

Febrile Respiratory Illness Surveillance Among U.S. Military Trainees

This study, established in 1998, has documented the return of significant respiratory morbidity among basic trainees at 8 training centers across all services since adenovirus vaccination was discontinued in 1999. Weekly newsletters showing real time FRI rates, etiologies, and trends are sent to stakeholders. Data from this project convinced DoD policymakers that resumption of adenovirus vaccine was warranted. These data are also leveraged to estimate influenza vaccine each season in a timely and consistent manner. 

Current Weekly FRI Update  FRI Rates Status

Febrile Respiratory Illness Surveillance Aboard Floating Platforms

Crowded living/working environments, as seen aboard U.S. Navy ships, provide ideal conditions for respiratory disease transmission. Ships traveling to foreign ports may be susceptible to emerging illnesses, such as new influenza strains.  Little had been known about the incidence or etiology of FRI aboard U.S. military ships prior to the start of this program in 2002. This study allows for identification of important pathogens that would otherwise be undetected in this highly mobile population.

 Febrile Respiratory Illness Surveillance Among DoD Beneficiaries

We have been asked to provide support to the nation’s pandemic avian influenza preparedness by both DoD/GEIS and upper echelon Navy Commands. One task we have undertaken is the evaluation of new diagnostics that may rapidly identify avian influenza. For wide acceptance and use of these devices within the Navy/DoD, FDA approval and clearance is required. Expanding surveillance into dependent clinics at NMCSD has allowed us to conduct studies among a more diverse population, which is needed for FDA clearance. The first diagnostic evaluation was completed in 2007-08, and evaluations are planned in future influenza seasons.

Current Beneficiaries Update  Archived Updates

Febrile Respiratory Illness Surveillance in a U.S.-México Border Population

This collaboration with CDC and San Diego public health gives NHRC access to FRI specimens from a population very different than we usually see in terms of age and vaccination status. Since 2003 this program has identified a large number of influenza cases that are rapidly reported to collaborators and border clinics. Isolates and molecular data contribute to influenza epidemiology and public health policy.

Etiology & Epidemiology of Pneumonia Among U.S. Military Recruits

Pneumonia infections are a significant cause of morbidity among U.S. military populations, especially trainees, who are subjected to crowded conditions and to the stress and pressure of basic training. A number of bacterial and viral pathogens can cause pneumonia, singularly or in combination, and it is often difficult to determine which pathogen(s) is/are responsible for causing disease. This study will determine which pathogens are causing pneumonia may lead to more effective prevention and treatment.

Streptococcus pneumoniae Surveillance Among DoD Beneficiaries

The purpose of this study is to describe the antibiotic resistance, serotype distribution, and virulence patterns of invasive S.pneumoniae isolates from military medical centers over time. This surveillance is consistent with state and national public health laboratory efforts outside the DoD.

Streptococcus pyogenes Surveillance Among U.S. Military Trainees

This surveillance involves the collection of already-existing S. pyogenes isolates from clinical laboratories at 9 recruit training commands. Isolates are shipped in batch to Naval Health Research Center for testing, and individual and summary results are communicated to each referring site. Geographic and temporal trends in antibiotic resistance and emm-type distribution are followed in this ongoing project.

Other Surveillance Programs 

NHRC Meningococcal Disease Surveillance Program

The program’s purpose is to track and characterize cases of meningococcal disease across the DoD. The surveillance actively solicits specimens for bacteriology and PCR analysis at the NHRC laboratories and is supported in its data collection by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center and the Naval and Marine Corps Public Health Center’s EpiData Center. The goals of the program include broad temporal and geographic epidemiology of meningococcal disease, characterization of outbreaks, and evaluation of the DoD meningococcal vaccination program.

Current Quarterly Meningococcal Disease Surveillance Report

FDA Clinical Trials of Interest

Smallpox Vaccine Phase IV Observational Surveillance Project

The FDA recently approved a replacement Smallpox vaccine which is being used in deploying military personnel. This project will gather information concerning safety and adverse events in those who receive the new vaccine. This study is being performed at 6 military bases across the U.S.

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