August 4, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. – The Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute of the Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University and the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) held a ceremony to transfer the OV-Rapid diagnosis test (OV-RDT) for checking the liver fluke disease to the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health for use in the “Good Health Population Promotion Project” and for merit making to His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn and Her Royal Highness Queen Sirikit on the auspicious occasion of HM’s 70th Birthday and HRH’s 90th Birthday. Assoc. Prof. Apichat Jirawutthipong, M.D., Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University delivered the welcoming speech to the delegation and distinguished guests and explained about the background of the development of the OV-RDT test kit that is aimed at solving the problems from the liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma. The representatives transferring the OV-RDT test kit were: Prof. Narong Khanteekaew, M.D., Acting Director of the Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute; Khun Waraporn Suchaichit, Head of the National Research and Innovation Mission in Medicine and Public Health, the National Research Council of Thailand; Prof. Paiboon Sitthitaworn, Ph.D., Head of the Research Group behind this innovation; and Assoc. Prof. Watcharin Loilom, Ph.D., Secretary and Member of the Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute Committee. The representatives receiving the kits were: Doctor Sophon Iamsiritaworn, M.D., Deputy Director of the Department of Disease Control; Doctor Saman Futrakoon, M.D., Director of the Office of Disease Control 7, Khon Kaen; Doctor Sasitorn Tungsawat, M.D., Director of the Office of Disease Control 8, Udonthani; and Doctor Hatsacha Nuaythong, M.D., Deputy Chief officer of Mahasarakham Public Health Office. The event took place at Sirikunakorn Room 4, 2nd Floor, Sirikunakorn Building, Office of the President, Khon Kaen University.
Assoc. Prof. Apichat Jirawutthipong, M.D., Dean of the Faculty of Medicine said, “Khon Kaen University has been subsidized by the National Research Council (NRCT) to carry out research in developing the OV-Rapid diagnosis test (OV-RDT). The kits, altogether 40,000 sets are now given to the Department of Disease Control for screening the people in the Disease Control Areas 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, which include Chiangmai, Pitsanulok, Chonburi, Khon Kaen, Udonthani, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Ubon Ratchathani. The goal is to assist the people to have easy, fast, and convenient access to public health services, resulting in the continuity and efficiency of disease control and prevention in communities. The kits are also presented as merit making on the occasions of His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn’s 70th Birthday and Her Royal Highness Queen Sirikit’s 90th Birthday. The research team of the Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute has been working on the development of the OV-Rapid diagnosis test kits (OV-RDT) with the fullest capacity so that the kits can be utilized for utmost benefits in the country.”
Khun Waraporn Suchaichit, Head of the National Research and Innovation Mission in Medicine and Public Health, the National Research Council of Thailand said, “NRCT has supported the research under the Thailand challenging research project: Fluke-Free Thailand, to the Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute of Khon Kaen University since 2016 until today. The aim is to mitigate the problems from the liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma in Thailand. More funds have been subsidized for promotion activities and for developing the rapid test kits for OV-RDT for checking liver fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma in the communities. On August 27, 2011, 100,000 OV-RDT kits were transferred to the Ministry of Public Health for the Ministerial Strategic Plans of 2016-2025. This time, the National Research Council of Thailand has collaborated with the Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute of Khon Kaen University to transfer another 40,000 OV-RDT kits for merit making on the auspicious occasions of His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn’s 70th Birthday and Her Royal Highness Queen Sirikit’s 90th Birthday. NRCT has supported development of innovations that are very useful for Thai people and is pleased to support development of other innovations as well as research in all aspects that will benefit the country and Thai people in the future.”
Doctor Sophon Iamsiritaworn, M.D., Deputy Director of the Department of Disease Control then thanked Khon Kaen University, the National Research Council of Thailand, and the researchers who invented the innovation from the Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute, “This OV-Rapid diagnosis test (OV-RDT) kits that we receive today are the tool that promotes the 2016-2025 strategic plan for “eradicating liver the fluke disease and cholangiocarcinoma. The kits are effective and we have seen concrete results from carrying out the work. Urine test truly assists in screening infected patients so that they can receive medication within time. The kits also allow quantitative checking correlated to the density of the flukes, enabling evaluation after medical treatment as well as finding recurrence or new infection. This means possibility in checking that covers the risk group all over the country that accounts for 6-10 million people. The OV-RDT test kits, besides being the tool for controlling and eradicating the fluke and supporting the policy for Fluke-Free Thailand, also lead to success in the control of liver fluke disease and thus reducing the incidence of cholangiocarcinoma.”
The OV-RDT test is the innovation that the Cholangiocarcinoma Research Institute of the Faculty of medicine, Khon Kaen University invented and developed. It is based on detecting the monoclonal antibody specific to liver fluke. It is also an element that is used with secretions or antigen of the liver fluke in urine. The research has been extended from the ELISA method by simplifying it, shortening the time spent and making possible field use. It can give the result within 10 minutes. The OV-RDT test is now under the application for FDA registration for commercial manufacturing. In this very near future, people will be able to buy an OV-RDT test kit for self-checking.
News / photos: Watchara Noichompoo