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Walter Reed / AFRIMS Research Unit Nepal (WARUN)

The Department of Virology has worked in Nepal studying hepatitis E virus (HEV) since 1987 and has maintained a field laboratory in Kathmandu since August 1995.

The focus of research for this unit has been the epidemiology and pathophysiology of HEV. HEV is a recently identified cause of enterically transmitted viral hepatitis. Recent studies performed by the WARUN laboratory have identified HEV as the major cause of hospitalized jaundice in the region. Studies of incidence and disease impact have included work with pregnant women, families, expatriates living in Nepal, and member of the Royal Nepalese Army.

Other efforts have also included contributions to Japanese encephalitis, influenza and other emerging disease in the Kathmandu valley. Current efforts are directed towards conducting phase I and II HEV vaccine trials.


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