The Kamphaeng Phet AFRIMS Virology Research Unit was established in 1980 and is located on the grounds of the Kamphaeng Phet Provincial Hospital. With a long history of collaboration with the Thai Ministry of Public Health and KPPH, KAVRU serves as an advanced development site for military medical solutions, conducting disease surveillance as well as diagnostic and vaccine development. In addition, KAVRU serves as training site for visiting military researchers and physicians. KAVRU has conducted pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials for vaccines against Japanese encephalitis, hepatitis A and dengue has maintained a prospective dengue surveillance study in cohorts of primary school children and rural communities for over
Current projects surveil dengue, Zika, chikungunya and influenza viruses within the region with additional studies tracking dengue virus evolution, vector-virus-host interactions and virus transmission within families. These studies have resulted in extensive field research capabilities as well as strong relationships with KPPH, the Kamphaeng Phet Provincial Public Health Office and the people in Kamphaeng Phet Province.
KAVRU maintains a range of laboratory screening and surveillance capabilities including RT-PCR and nested PCR (dengue, chikungunya), real time RT-PCR (Zika and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) and real time PCR (influenza). KAVRU also works closely with AFRIMS headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, and other partner laboratories to conduct additional serological and immunological testing.