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
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.