Bacterial and Parasitic Diseases

The Department of Bacterial and Parasitic Diseases conducts surveillance and medical product development to combat bacterial and parasitic diseases in support force health protection and global public health. Focusing primarily on two of the most critical threats to Service Members—malaria and bacterial diarrheal disease—BPD develops and maintains robust research platforms and clinical site capabilities, staffed by a highly motivated and competent team of scientists and physicians, to deliver requirements-driven biomedical products.


BPD is uniquely positioned in the region to conduct world class malaria and bacterial disease research due its research sites along the Thai-Myanmar, Thai-Cambodia and Thai-Laos borders. Many of these sites are within or near areas designed by the World Health Organization as epicenters for the emergence of multidrug-resistant malaria. This infrastructure is supported by robust epidemiology pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics modeling, classical microbiology, molecular biology and immunology support and has been used to successfully conduct clinical studies at seven different regional sites in the past seven years, including three externally-monitored, sponsored studies intended to support regulatory filings in the United States and Europe.


The department’s primary parasitic focus is protection against malaria infection caused by P. falciparum and P. vivax, the predominant malaria-causing species in the region. This includes testing of existing and next generation antimalarial drug and vaccine candidates currently in development, evaluation of new malaria diagnostic devices and techniques and surveillance for multidrug-resistant malaria.


In addition, the BPD also conducts diarrheal disease diagnostics evaluation and surveillance. Target populations include foreign travelers to Thailand and Nepal as well as U.S. military personnel participating in joint military exercises such as Cobra Gold (Thailand) and Balikatan (Philippines). Anti-diarrheal vaccines, as well as novel prevention and treatment evaluations, are tested in non-human primate challenge models. Bacterial antimicrobial resistance surveillance and in vitro characterization of community and healthcare associated infections are conducted in Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal and the Philippines.


In addition to its research mission, BPD actively supports medical diplomacy through strategic military-military and military-civilian collaborations with the Thai and Cambodian governments. These engagements improve the quality of research as well as host-nation policy and health.  

Diseases & Vectors
Partnerships and Collaborations:
BPD works with partners across Southeast Asia and around the world including partner militaries, U.S. government and DOD agencies, non- and intergovernmental organizations, academic universities and industry laboratories including: 
  • Royal Thai Armed Forces
  • Thailand Ministry of Public Health
  • Royal Cambodian Armed Forces 
  • Cambodian National Malaria Control Center
  • Among others 
If you're interested in reaching out or learning more, contact us