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Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU)-3 plays a key role in enhancing the health, safety and readiness of DoD and partner nation personnel throughout Africa, Europe and the Middle East. NAMRU-3 is headquartered onboard Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, with administrative and research sites in Egypt, Ghana and Djibouti.
Established in Cairo, Egypt in 1946, NAMRU-3's team includes active duty, U.S. civilian, host nation, and contract administrative and research personnel. Our researchers' expertise includes microbiology, entomology, epidemiology, preventive medicine and infectious diseases and tropical medicine. NAMRU-3 scientists conduct infectious disease surveillance and studies of vaccines, therapeutic agents, diagnostic assays and vector control measures in 17 countries to better prevent and treat infectious diseases.
The mission of NAMRU-3 is to study, monitor and detect emerging and re-emerging disease threats of military and public health importance, and to develop mitigation strategies against these threats in partnership with host nations and international and U.S. agencies in U.S. European Command (EUCOM), Africa Command (AFRICOM) and Central Command (CENTCOM) areas of responsibility.
The NAMRU-3 Sigonella headquarters oversees command administrative support to its Cairo, Ghana and Djibouti sites. The headquarters also provides science support services and coordinates the programs and operations governing the Human Research Protection Program.
Partnerships: Sigonella personnel are actively developing partnerships with local Italian Universities and military such as the University of Catania and the Italian Air Force. NAMRU-3 has strong collaborative relationships with the Navy Medicine and Readiness Training Command Sigonella and the NAVEUR/NAVAF/SIXTHFLT Force/Fleet Surgeon.
Research: Estimating the penetrance of SARS-CoV-2 infection among U.S. forces, determining the persistence of neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 following vaccination and or/infection to SARS-CoV-2 and sequencing samples to identify emerging variants. NAMRU-3 vector biology scientists identify arthropod vectors, detect vector-borne disease threats and assess regional risks, determine malaria prevalence, antimalarial resistance and characterization of resistance markers and evaluate vector control measures.
The NAMRU-3 Cairo site provides command administrative support and maintains a robust scientific research team divided into three programs: the Bacterial and Parasitic Disease Research Program (BPDRP), the Viral and Zoonotic Disease Research Program (VZDRP), and the Vector Borne Disease Research Program (VBDRP).
Partnerships: NAMRU-3's Cairo site has collaborative relationships with regional organizations that include the Egyptian Center for Research and Regenerative medicine, Ain Shams University Hospital, Multinational Forces and Observers in Egypt and the Jordanian Ministry of Health.
Research Efforts: In collaboration with the above partners, BPDRP actively monitors diarrheal disease, sexually transmitted infections, acute febrile illnesses, infection control/wound infection, antimicrobial resistance and malaria in populations across the African and Middle Eastern regions. VZDRP is a leader for surveillance of influenza, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and other viral threats with pandemic potential in the Eastern Mediterranean. VBDRP is instrumental in conducting mosquito, tick and sand fly surveillance in Egypt, Liberia, Ghana, Libya and Djibouti. Research activities include determining the abundance and diversity of insect vectors, mapping the distribution of dengue and malaria vectors and assessing the susceptibility of insect vectors to insecticides.
Ghana-based NAMRU-3 personnel work with multiple DoD and U.S. Navy organizations to strengthen military-to-military health-focused partnerships throughout the region. These collaborations build infectious disease research and surveillance capacity while strengthening bilateral relationships.
Partnerships: NAMRU-3's Ghana site has collaborative relationships with regional organizations that include the Ghana 37 Military Hospital, the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research, the Joint West Africa Research Group, the Austere Environment Consortium for Enhanced Sepsis Outcomes, the DoD HIV/ AIDS Prevention Program, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Naval Medical Center San Diego and the Emergency Medicine team at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
Research Efforts: Scientific studies are varied and include surveillance of insect vectors, chemoprophylaxis-resistance in Plasmodium falciparum parasites, acute gastroenteritis and diarrheal illness, as well as respiratory pathogens in the region. Staff and scientists are actively involved in developing new protocols for the clinical validation of new diagnostics for the rapid and accurate detection of COVID-19.
Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti:
This NAMRU-3 laboratory provides state of the art research and analysis for the forward-deployed military population and quick response time to outbreaks in order to mitigate force health protection risks. Current efforts include long-term surveillance of enteric disease patterns, respiratory illnesses, acute febrile illness, and malaria for the Horn of Africa. In 2020, the laboratory rapidly responded to operational needs for increased COVID-19 testing to support the Expeditionary Medical Facility requirements. NAMRU-3 personnel were deployed to establish Operational Risk Reduction COVID-19 testing capabilities, enable 24-hour COVID testing, shorten turnaround times for results in support of deployed personnel movements and ensure favorable force health protection conditions at Camp Lemonnier.
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