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...

Medical logistics Airmen enable lifesaving skills at NATO exercise

Article
4/18/2019
Civilian first responders from Romania participate along with Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in a multinational medical exercise drill during Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Uniting upwards of 2,500 providers from 39 countries, the exercise is the largest medical readiness event in NATO

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Medical Logistics | Global Health Engagement

Hospital Corpsmen graduate from trauma training program at Naval Hospital Jacksonville

Article
4/17/2019
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Kyle Hamlin, an instructor for the hospital corpsman trauma training program at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, helps motivate sailors during a Tactical Combat Casualty Care course. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

The Hospital Corpsman Trauma Training program furthers the Navy surgeon general’s goal to achieve maximum future life-saving capabilities

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics

DHA ‘delivers’ nurses for babies

Article
4/16/2019
Air Force Col. Michelle Aastrom, 81st Inpatient Operation Squadron commander, discusses the intensive care unit capabilities with Army Maj. Gen. Ronald Place, Defense Health Agency, director, for the National Capital Region Medical Directorate and Transition Intermediate Management Organization, during an immersion tour inside the Keesler Medical Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, recently. The purpose of Place's two-day visit was to become more familiar with the medical center's mission capabilities and to receive the status of the 81st Medical Group's transition under DHA. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Every month Keesler Medical Center’s Labor and Delivery Clinic averages approximately 35 births

Recommended Content:

Implementation of MHS Transition | Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Africa Malaria Task Force Key Leader Event continues fight against malaria

Article
4/12/2019
Brig. Gen. Dowlo Yao, Chief of Health Services, Cote D’Ivoire Armed Forces and Chairman of Africa Malaria Task Force, asks a question during the AMTF Key Leader Event. (DoD photo).

The primary goal of AMTF has been to assist African partner militaries do develop relationships with their national malaria control programs

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Military nursing exchange brings together 23 partner nations

Article
4/12/2019
Medical professionals from around Europe and Africa receive small-group training at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The 2019 European African Military Nursing Exchange is the 6th iteration of its kind, with extensive planning and coordination to connect partner nations in a collaborative environment that promotes hands-on training scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jessica Hines)

United States, European and African military nurses focused on each nation’s unique cultures, communication patterns and capacity for interoperability

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Military to bring eye care to front lines with mobile app

Article
4/11/2019
Air Force Lt. Col. Peter Carra, 379th Expeditionary Medical Group optometry officer in charge, performs an eye exam for a Soldier at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

Air Force and Army medical researchers are developing a smart phone application to connect providers downrange with on-call ophthalmologists either in-theater or at a clinic

Recommended Content:

Technology | Vision Loss

New equipment at Camp Lemonnier improves blood storage

Article
4/10/2019
Hospital Corpsmen 2nd Class Andrew Kays (right) and Christi Greenwood (left), deployed with the Expeditionary Medical Facility at Camp Lemonnier, receive training on the Automated Cell Processor 215 while Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Joshua Paddlety from Naval Hospital Sigonella, Italy, as part of implementation of the Frozen Blood Program here, March 13, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joe Rullo)

Frozen blood, which is stored at negative 70-degrees Celsius, can be used for up to 10 years

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Armed Services Blood Program | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Military Health System Data Repository (MDR)

Fact Sheet
4/5/2019

The MDR is the centralized data repository that captures, archives, validates, integrates and distributes Defense Health Agency (DHA) corporate health care data worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Technology | MDR, M2, ICDs Functional Support

Military Health System Management Analysis and Reporting Tool (M2)

Fact Sheet
4/5/2019

M2 is a powerful ad-hoc query tool used to manage and oversee operations worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Technology

Defense Occupational and Environmental Health Readiness System – Industrial Hygiene (DOEHRS-IH)

Fact Sheet
4/5/2019

DOEHRS-IH allows the Department of Defense (DoD) to manage occupational and environmental health risk data and actively track biological, chemical, physical health hazards and engineered nano-object process to service members worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Technology

TOL Patient Portal Secure Messaging

Fact Sheet
4/5/2019

TRICARE Online Patient Portal (TOLPP) Secure Messaging (SM) provides Military Health System patients who receive care at a military treatment facility or clinic access to a robust messaging capability, allowing authorized patients the ability to securely communicate with their health care team.

Recommended Content:

Technology

Defense Medical Human Resources System – internet (DMHRSi)

Fact Sheet
4/4/2019

DMHRSi manages human resources for the Defense Health Agency. It is the only Integrated Human Resource System within the Department of Defense.

Recommended Content:

Technology

Elmo comes to Madigan

Article
4/3/2019
Sesame Street's Walkaround Elmo visited Madigan Army Medical Center families on April 1 to celebrate the seven-year anniversary of Military Kids Connect and the recent relaunch of its website. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Graham)

Elmo began helping military kids and families with deployments and other military stressors in 2006

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Madigan Army Medical Center's emergency room helps shape MHS GENESIS

Article
4/1/2019
Krista Marcum, a staff nurse in Madigan Army Medical Center's emergency room, offers an MHS GENESIS demonstration to Defense Health Agency staff visiting Madigan. Marcum said these demonstrations often lead to MHS GENESIS-related brainstorming and problem solving. (U.S. Army photo by John Wayne Liston)

The ER encourages a culture of end user engagement; anyone can make a suggestion for an improvement to MHS GENESIS

Recommended Content:

Military Health System Electronic Health Record | MHS GENESIS | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Pacific Partnership 2019 introduces helicopter en route medical care

Article
3/29/2019
A Philippine Fire Department rescue worker lifts a simulated earthquake victim onto a Philippine Air Force rescue helicopter during the Pacific Partnership 2019 exercise in Tacloban, Philippines. The goal of the Pacific Partnership is to improve interoperability of the region's military forces, governments, and humanitarian organizations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian, medical, dental, and engineering assistance to nations of the Pacific all while strengthening relationships and security ties between the partner nations (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson)

The exercise is an important part of disaster risk reduction

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 17

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.