Back to Top Skip to main content

Project Sea Raven delivers cutting-edge pathogen detection technology

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class James Bowes, senior preventive-medicine technician, places mosquitoes on a dish to view under a microscope. Project Sea Raven’s capabilities are not limited to just insects – it can test anything from blood to soil and water. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette) U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class James Bowes, senior preventive-medicine technician, places mosquitoes on a dish to view under a microscope. Project Sea Raven’s capabilities are not limited to just insects – it can test anything from blood to soil and water. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette)

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Technology | Military Hospitals and Clinics

TRINCOMALEE, Sri Lanka — In support of Pacific Partnership 2018, the entomologists and civilian staff of the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence delivered cutting-edge technology for disease surveillance to the crew of the USNS Mercy.

While the ship was docked in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, NECE connected with the Mercy’s microbiology division to provide a newly-developed pathogen detection kit as well as the training to put it to use.

Pathogens are basically any disease-causing agent, such as viruses, bacteria or fungi. Identifying pathogens for Sailors and Marines is crucial to ensuring the health and mission readiness of our nation’s warfighters.

The mission was part of NECE’s Project Sea Raven, an effort that is based on providing a highly mobile, complete pathogen surveillance and warfighter protection kit that can deploy to anywhere in the world with our Sailors and Marines. Project Sea Raven’s capabilities are not limited to just insects – it can test anything from blood to soil and water. 

The NECE team consisted of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ian Sutherland, Navy Lt. Matthew Montgomery and Mr. Alden Estep, all of whom have been at the forefront of incorporating the kit into Navy medicine’s capabilities.

Sutherland, NECE’s technical director, devised Project Sea Raven as a way to increase disease detection capabilities during deployments where new pathogens are frequently encountered and in conditions that make traditional laboratory equipment and methods unworkable.

The kit was presented to Navy Lt. Rebecca Pavlicek, the USNS Mercy’s microbiology division officer, and her division, which is responsible for the study of bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic pathogens that could affect mission readiness in addition to helping Pacific Partnership nations improve their disease response capabilities.

Funded through a grant from the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) Global Emerging Infections Surveillance (GEIS) Program, Project Sea Raven is modeled after the MinION system, which is a DNA and RNA sequencing kit.

Built for deployments and field settings, MinION is incredibly light and portable – the entire kit consists of a laptop computer and a small USB device, approximately the size of a cellphone, into which the individual testing cells are inserted. The system works by running purified DNA through an electric current that generates a complete sequence for all genetic information contained in a sample.

Similar to MinION, Project Sea Raven brings rapid results (pathogens can be identified in as little as four hours) and a broader range of pathogens, which can be identified through sequencing.

“The major difference is that Project Sea Raven’s use of sequencing gives us the ability to see so much more than traditional testing,” said Sutherland. “Beyond simple detection, a single sample can be probed numerous times for known and emerging pathogens. You can find multiple viruses, bacteria and fungi from a single sample. You can even look for genetic markers for drug resistance and other important characteristics in those pathogens.”

The joint NECE and Pacific Partnership exercise demonstrated the technology’s ease of use and broad detection abilities.

By the end of the first day of training, the USNS Mercy’s microbiology division was running actual samples from the ship’s medical ward. Because the kit does not require refrigeration or even an internet connection, Project Sea Raven is ideal for shipboard disease surveillance.

For Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Julian Taylor, medical laboratory technician, the biggest improvement was the amount of time needed to prepare a sample.

“It used to take hours to prepare a sample for testing, but with this, it’s about 15 minutes,” said Taylor.

Project Sea Raven is now an integral part of the ship’s microbiology capacity. As Pacific Partnership 2018 continues, the USNS Mercy will take its new pathogen surveillance capabilities to Vietnam and wherever the ship will provide medical assistance.

For the Sea Raven team, this endeavor represents a culmination of NECE’s commitment to pushing the latest in disease detection technology to the fleet and warfighter.

“This is just the beginning of getting the best disease detection tools to our Fleet’s medical departments,” said Sutherland.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

German allies visit JBSA-Fort Sam Houston on 75th anniversary of D-Day

Article
6/14/2019
Maj. Gen. Gesine Kruger, Commander for the German Bundeswehr Medical Academy (pictured center in the Flight Paramedic Training Simulator) and her delegation observed training and toured the Critical Care Flight Paramedic Course at the Health Readiness Center of Excellence. (U.S. Army photo)

The purpose of this visit was to further strengthen the bonds and interoperability programs between our allied countries or partner nations

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Health Readiness

DHA director visits Tyndall

Article
6/11/2019
Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, Defense Health Agency director, speaks at a town hall June 5, 2019 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. During her visit, she applauded the medical Airmen who have endured the challenges due to Hurricane Michael. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Sing

The goal for the DoD switching administration to DHA is a more integrated, efficient and effective system of readiness and health

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Military Health System (MHS) Population Health Portal (PHP)

Fact Sheet
6/11/2019

Military Health System (MHS) Population Health Portal (PHP) Fact Sheet

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division

Coding and Compliance Editor (CCE)

Fact Sheet
6/11/2019

CCE supports the Department of Defense efforts to improve coding accuracy and reimbursements for inpatient and outpatient services.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division

Expense Assignment System (EAS IV)

Fact Sheet
6/11/2019

EAS IV is a Web-based tool essential to the Department of Defense because it assists the Defense Health Agency in identifying the total cost of providing health care to TRICARE patients.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division

Patient Encounter Processing and Reporting (PEPR)

Fact Sheet
6/11/2019

PEPR allows analysis of purchased care claims data created by the TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractors.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Solution Delivery Division

Hospital honored for Hepatitis B vaccine birth dose rate

Article
6/10/2019
Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Tommy Baker checks on Navy Logistics Specialist Seaman Tabernesha Victrum and Romeo Taylor as they hold their newborn daughter at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Maternal Infant Unit. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

NH Jacksonville is the newest entry into IAC’s Birth Dose Honor Roll

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Immunization Healthcare

BATDOK improves, tailors to deployed medics

Article
6/7/2019
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Robert Bean, a pararescueman, demonstrates how BATDOK can be worn on the wrist, providing awareness of the health status of multiple patients. (U.S. Air Force photo)

BATDOK is under user evaluations by Air Force Pararescuemen and Army Rangers

Recommended Content:

Technology

AFRICOM holds annual Command Surgeon Conference

Article
6/3/2019
Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee E. Payne. DHA assistant director for combat support, talks to attendees of the 2019 U.S. Africa Command Command Surgeon Synchronization Conference May 28, 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. Payne discussed upcoming changes to the military health system and what that means for patients and providers. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Hurd/Released)

The conference brought together medical professionals from across the command, and interagency and foreign partners, to enable collaboration and discuss areas of concern

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Combat Support

Surgeons perform first bioengineered blood vessel transplant in military patient

Article
5/28/2019
Development of the Human Acellular Vessel, or HAV, starts by taking living cells from a human blood vessel and placing them onto a tube-shaped frame. These vascular cells are kept alive in an organ chamber, growing around the tube-shaped lattice. Over time, the lattice that was used to seed the original vascular cells dissolves, and scientists remove the original cells so the new vessel doesn’t cause an immune response when it’s implanted. What is left is a solid, tubular structure made of human vascular material that looks and acts like a blood vessel -- thus, the bio-engineered and newly-grown blood vessel, or HAV. (USU medical illustration by Sofia Echelmeyer)

Injury to major blood vessels of the body is the most common cause of death and disability in combat

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Technology

DHA director discusses healthcare transformation at town hall

Article
5/24/2019
Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, Defense Health Agency director, discusses the DHA transition during a town hall meeting at Brooke Army Medical Center. On Oct. 1, 2019 BAMC will transition under DHA command and authority. (U.S. Army photo by Jason W. Edwards)

We have the potential to create the very best healthcare system ever

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | MHS Transformation

MHS GENESIS: A force multiplier, one read at a time

Article
5/23/2019
MHS GENESIS has laid the foundation of real time, collaborative provider-to-provider consultation on radiology studies, no matter which military department or sector of the world as long as there is internet connectivity. (U.S. Air Force file photo)

MHS GENESIS allows NHB to ensure 92nd Medical Group providers have results in about 30 minutes

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | MHS GENESIS

Medical center set to transition to Defense Health Agency

Article
5/21/2019
Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. The military treatment facility transition to DHA, according to Bono, should be seamless to the patients, but provide a more consistent and transparent process for accessing care across all the military services. (U.S. Army File photo)

The transition seeks to ensure that medical facilities continue to deliver safe, quality care

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | MHS Transformation

Teddy bear health clinic

Article
5/17/2019
A corpsman teaches a child how stethoscopes work. During the Teddy Bear Health Clinic, children received a teddy bear, went from station to station making sure their new friend was healthy. The bears received patient identification bracelets, had their blood pressure taken, their hearts listened to, hearing tested, and even experienced an x-ray. The goal was to introduce children to different departments in the hospital and help alleviate any anxiety during future appointments or potential hospital stays. (U.S. Navy photo by Christina Clarke)

The clinic went through six boxes of teddy bears in just two hours

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Dummies for doctors

Article
5/14/2019
Air Force Col. Christine Kress (center) observes use of a medical canine mannequin designed to create training environments that prepare medical professionals for events they may face in the field. (MHS photo)

How technology is preparing the next generation of docs for the battlefield

Recommended Content:

Technology | Combat Support
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 18

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.