Regional and global engagement

Tackling infections, regionally and globally
Our researchers lead several projects in the region and globally to combat the effects of infectious diseases on human health. Focussing on infections of global consequence, we support communities in infectious disease prevention, treatment and care.

Explore our focus areas in the Asia-Pacific

Pacific Island countries are at the pointy end of global health problems. They endure an uneven share of the ‘triple burden’ of disease — infectious diseases such as malaria, non-communicable diseases such as obesity, and climate change induced health impacts, such as burdens from repeated cyclones and flooding. However, they are also a crucial setting from which to inspire world leadership in finding effective solutions.

Discover three of the projects we are leading in the Pacific

India is one of the largest countries in the world based on both its geographic area and its population size. India is also one of the most technologically advanced, but nevertheless still experiences substantial socioeconomic disparity. This disparity is associated with high levels of endemicity of several high-consequence infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, dengue and malaria, as well as many of the neglected infections of poverty, such as rabies, leishmaniasis and the soil-transmitted helminths. As the world warms with climate change, India has been experiencing catastrophic extreme weather events, in the form of heatwaves, flooding and drought, all of which can severely exacerbate the high burden of infectious diseases already present.  

Our work in India includes:

  • Human pathogen surveillance - understanding how diseases spread between animals, people, and the environment to help prevent illnesses 

Australia and Vietnam share many challenges. These include maintaining regional security & health security, strengthening pandemic responses, modernising agriculture & promoting food security, harnessing new technologies, supporting ageing populations, reversing environmental degradation, making urban development sustainable, responding to the climate crisis, and many others.

Our collaborative research in Vietnam is helping to tackle these challenges head on. Projects include:

  • VRESIST – addressing the challenge of AMR in healthcare and community settings
  • A range of clinical studies on tuberculosis, led by Professor Greg Fox
  • Projects implementing locally-tailored antimicrobial stewardship interventions for human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health
  • Research to understand the prevalence and environmental drivers of anti-microbial resistance in bacterial and fungal pathogens, led by A/Prof Justin Beardsley
  • Research into invasive fungal diseases including chronic pulmonary aspergillosis and other emerging threats, led by A/Prof Justin Beardsley

Sydney ID researchers working in Vietnam now have the benefit of working through the Sydney Vietnam Institute. This recently launched institute, headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, is a major investment by the University of Sydney and a shared home for researchers from across all faculties. The SVI works with numerous partners in Vietnam, seeking to improve the wellbeing of individuals and communities in Vietnam and beyond,  through excellence in multidisciplinary, collaborative, and impactful research and engagement.


Our WHO collaborations

Sydney ID is part of the Global Outbreak and Response Network (GOARN) which provides international public health resources to control outbreaks and public health emergencies across the globe.
World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis (WHO Collaborating Centre for TB)  serves as a regional resource to reduce the global burden of tuberculosis (TB), which remains the leading infectious disease killer on the planet.

Evolving regional partnerships

The Climate Amplified Diseases and Epidemics (CLIMADE) consortium brings together partners around the globe that have long term experience working with climate amplified epidemics and pathogens’ genomics. 

Genomic sequencing has emerged as a powerful new tool to enhance early disease detection and inform decision making. While genomics is widely used in high-income countries, its application across low-resource settings with significant communicable disease risks remains at an early stage. 

The Asia Pathogen Genomics Initiative is accelerating pathogen genomic sequencing in Asia, where early detection, control and the elimination of infectious diseases is an urgent priority. 

Control of TB and HIV in Africa

A/Prof Sarah Bernays is a social scientist, who has been working for over a decade with teams in Southern Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific to improve the control of tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and gonorrhea