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...

Officials discuss Blanchfield Hospital’s future as transition nears

Article
8/15/2019
Army Maj. Gen. Ron Place, who was recently confirmed for promotion to lieutenant general and selected to serve as the next director of DHA, visited Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Aug. 7 for more discussion about the hospital’s transition to DHA Oct. 1. (U.S. Army photo)

Supporting forces remains the number one priority of the Defense Health Agency

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Maxwell AFB’s medical group reorganizes, improves health care

Article
8/9/2019
Air Force Medical Service seal

The Air Force Medical Service is transforming 43 military treatment facilities

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Sesame Street celebrates 50th anniversary at Madigan

Article
8/5/2019
Army Col. (Dr.) Matthew Studer, the chief of Madigan's Department of Pediatrics, talks with Nina and Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street during a special visit at Madigan Army Medical Center on July 26. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Graham)

As a part of their 50th anniversary tour across America, Sesame Street made a special stop at Madigan

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

Soldier helps save life of man struck by lightning

Article
7/25/2019
Army Capt. Robert Blume, physician assistant, has been called a "guardian angel" for his heroic actions, June 6, 2019, after saving the life of a man struck by lightning. Blume, along with San Antonio-area first responders, worked together to help 21-year-old Joshua Favor, after he was electrocuted while delivering roofing materials during a break in a thunderstorm. (U.S. Army photo Jose E. Rodriguez)

Blume went home that evening unaware of Favor's condition

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics

Madigan pharmacy wait time drops

Article
7/25/2019
Pharmacist Ashley Burrill fills a prescription at the Madigan pharmacy on July 23. Assigning staff to their strongest roles helped to reduce the pharmacy wait time. (U.S. Army photo by Suzanne Ovel)

The average pharmacy wait time was between 90 and 120 minutes; now, the average is 20 to 25 minutes

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | MHS GENESIS | Military Hospitals and Clinics

USNS Comfort completes medical mission in Peru

Article
7/22/2019
The hospital ship USNS Comfort (left) receives a fuel probe from the Peruvian ship B.A.P. Tacna during replenishment-at-sea practice. Comfort is working with health and government partners in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean to provide care on the ship and at land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems strained by an increase in Venezuelan migrants. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Morgan K. Nall)

This marks USNS Comforts’ seventh deployment to the region since 2007

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

MHS GENESIS discussed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

Article
7/16/2019
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Michelle Rootes (center), 673d Medical Group superintendent, and U.S. Air Force Col. Mark Lamey (right), 673d MDG deputy commander, welcome U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee E. Payne, Defense Health Agency Assistant Director for Combat Support, and Military Health System Electronic Health Record Functional Champion, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, July 9, 2019. Payne visited JBER to discuss upcoming changes to MHS and what that means for patients and providers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Valdes Montijo)

Payne highlighted the new electronic health record

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Puget Sound MHS plans for a joint medical environment

Article
7/15/2019
Puget Sound logo

Puget Sound MHS will transition to Defense Health Agency management beginning on Oct. 1

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Vice President Pence tours USNS Comfort before its Latin America deployment

Article
6/20/2019
Vice President Mike Pence (right) greets Navy Lt. Gwendolyn Mann, and his wife, Karen Pence (center right), greets Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Edna Wallace during a tour of the USNS Comfort in Miami, June 18, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Jordan R. Bair)

The vice president called the deployment a lifesaving mission

Recommended Content:

Civil Military Medicine | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief | Global Health Engagement | Military Hospitals and Clinics

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

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
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 11

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.