December 2, 2019


Vietnamese scientist awarded for creating diagnostic tests for pigs suffering diarrhea



Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has presented Vietnamese veterinary medicine student and scientist Mai Thi Ngan with an award for developing a simple, effective diagnostic test for the diarrhea virus in pigs.

Ngan was given the 2019 Japan International Award for Young Agriculture Researchers at a ceremony last month held in Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.

The award, also called the Japan Award, is conferred by Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Ngan has created an economical diagnostic test and pooled testing system for detection of the virus that causes diarrhea epidemics in pigs.


She attributed her motivation for the research to the challenge of controlling epidemics among cattle and poultry in Vietnam due to the lack of awareness and response capabilities among farmers.

Initially, she chose the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) method to make copies of a specific DNA segment. However, due to the high cost of the method, Ngan turned to a more economical method which is isothermal DNA amplification.

"This method is simple, economical, and highly practical. It can be used to diagnose a wide range of diseases on cattle and poultry caused by viruses or bacteria," Ngan said.

Ngan is currently a PhD student in veterinary medicine at Japan's Miyazaki University.