Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) Thailand

Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) in implementing the Mycobacterium tuberculosis molecular load assay (MBLA).  SMRU is a field station of the faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand and is part of the Mahidol-Oxford Research Unit (MORU) supported by the Wellcome Trust (UK).  It is located on the Thailand-Myanmar border and provides health care to the marginalised populations living in the region; combining both research and humanitarian activities to meet its goals (more details on SMRU can be found on their website  In 2009 SMRU started its tuberculosis (TB) program, which has been expanding ever since and is now directed by Michele Vincenti-Delmas.  The importance of this program cannot be understated, with Myanmar and Thailand having some of the highest burdens of TB in the world and a high incidence of multi-drug resistance.  It is hoped that the MBLA will enable rapid detection of response, or lack of it, to anti-tuberculosis treatment. This will ensure TB patients receive optimal treatment in a timely fashion, improving on currently methodologies.  It also hoped that the assay will be used as a research tool in the future, aiding our understanding of treatment responses in this neglected population.