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Paediatrics and Child Health - Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Paediatric immunology and infectious diseases

Our group conducts world class research spanning basic sciences into early and late phase clinical trials in child and maternal health. Through a diverse set of collaborations in academia and industry we are delivering high impact research to help prevent and treat infections in children and young people. 

Our research is based in the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre Microbiology, Immunology and Infection Theme and delivered via the NIHR Southampton NIHR Clinical Research Facility and Wessex Research Hubs. 

We specialise in a number of different areas of infection and immunity including: 

Maternal and newborn infection and immunity 

Our research in this domain includes a program of early and late phase clinical trials of vaccines aiming to prevent congenital and early life infections in newborn infants. We look at:

  • CMV
  • group B Streptococcus 
  • respiratory syncytial virus

With colleagues in adult infectious disease, we also run a controlled human infection program utilising a harmless commensal bacteria Neisseria lactamica investigating potential transfer of colonisation from mothers to babies or immunity against the invasive bacteria Neisseria meningitidis to newborn babies.

Early phase trials of vaccines and antibiotics 

We are delivering early phase clinical trials of novel vaccines and therapies to prevent and treat infections in children. Current programs are targeting high impact pathogens such as:

  • RSV
  • influenza 
  • routine infant schedule with vaccines and monoclonal antibodies
  • novel antifungal drugs to treat resistant infections

Biofilms and antimicrobial resistance

Biofilm forming infections are an important cause of chronic, disabling infections in children They are also a major contributor to the globally important issue of antimicrobial resistance. 

Alongside the Southampton-led National Biofilm Innovation Centre and University of Southampton School of Biological Sciences, we are currently undertaking translational research into improved diagnostics and treatments for antimicrobial resistant infections including both biofilm-related infections in children such as in Cystic Fibrosis. We are designing clinical trials to investigate the safety and efficacy personalised phage therapy to treat antimicrobial resistant infections. 

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