One World, One Health Update: Rickettsiosis

One World, One Health Update: Rickettsiosis

This week's webinar focuses on one of the oldest known infectious disease and yet still an important zoonotic infection, rickettsiosis. Rickettsial infections are caused by bacteria from the family Rickettsiaceae, and are mainly transmitted by arthropod vectors.

Panellists for this week:

Dr. Timothy William is a Senior Clinical Researcher associated with the Malaysian Ministry of Health’s Clinical Research Centre, Kota Kinabalu Sabah (2008 – present) and also Head of Infectious Diseases at Gleneagles Hospital, Kota Kinabalu (2018-present). Prior to these appointments, from 2008 – 2015 he was the State Infectious Diseases Physician for Sabah. He is President of the Infectious Diseases Society, Kota Kinabalu Sabah. His basic Physician Training at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Sabah was followed by Infectious Diseases Subspecialty Training from 2004 to 2008, including three years at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital and one year with at Royal Darwin Hospital, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and an Honorary Research Associate with the Menzies School of Health Research Darwin. He was awarded the 2017 Merdeka Award for his work on P.knowlesi Malaria. His research interest include malaria, tuberculosis, rickettsioses, melioidosis and dengue.

Mohammad Yazid Abdad holds the post of Senior Scientific Officer in the Infectious Disease Research Laboratory of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases Singapore, where he is the Senior Scientist and provides scientific and Biosecurity/Biosafety advice to ongoing projects. He is also actively involved in a number of projects as PI, Co-PI and collaborator investigating SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19), carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae, bacteriophages, respiratory diseases and rickettsial diseases. Since his research career began, Yazid has published 27 papers in peer-reviewed journals and authored a book chapter on Rickettsia. He discovered and characterized a new species of bacteria, Rickettsia gravesii, and tick, Ixodes woyliei. He also isolated and characterized the first description of Barmah Forest virus outside of Australia.


Dr. Suresh Kumar is the Head of Medical Department, Infectious Diseases Consultant in Hospital Sungai Buloh. He has been Infectious Diseases Consultant in Hospital Sungai Buloh since 2003. He is also a visiting consultant for the National Heart Institute (IJN).

Hospital Sungai Buloh is a full COVID-19 hospital and has been in the forefront of the COVID-19 response in the country. He also sits in the national task force that spearheads the national response.

He has participated in several international HIV treatment trials and has served on expert panels for national treatment and practice guidelines relating to infectious diseases including HIV, Dengue, Adult Immunization and National antibiotic guidelines. Dr Suresh is actively involved in the Infectious disease's fellowship programme in the country. He is the Past President of the Malaysian Society for HIV Medicine, MASHM


Slide Presentation:

Rickettsioses as Major Etiologies of Unrecognized Acute Febrile Illness, Sabah, East Malaysia by Dr. Timothy William, Gleneagles Hospital, Kota Kinabalu (Slide:

Rickettsioses: Out of sight, Out of mind by Dr. Mohammad Yazid Abdad, Infectious Disease Research Laboratory of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, Singapore (slide:

Short Q&A with Dr. Mohammad Yazid Abdad (click here)


Podcast link and other podcast options (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, etc) are available here