The Asia-Pacific Enterovirus Surveillance Network (APNET) has been formed in response to the emergence of enterovirus type 71 (EV71) in our region.
APNET has developed from collaboration between clinicians, epidemiologists and virologists working in Singapore, Sarawak and Australia. This collaboration was initiated in 1999 to study and publicise the origin and epidemiology of EV71 in our region and has continued with shared efforts to develop rapid diagnostics and surveillance tools for EV71, undertake basic research into the pathogenesis of EV71 encephalitis and to develop candidate vaccines for the prevention of EV71 infection.
In 2003 APNET received a major boost with the award of a five-year combined Wellcome Trust (WT) and National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) International Collaborative Research Grant to:
- Professor Jane Cardosa from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)
- Dr Andrew Kiyu from the Sarawak Health Department, and
- Dr Peter McMinn (at that time, from the Institute for Child Health Research [ICHR] in Perth, Western Australia), now Bosch Chair of Infectious Diseases at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, University of Sydney.