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Largest global childhood pneumonia etiology study launched
Date:8/16/2011

s old than HIV and malaria combined. Current strategies for prevention and treatment of childhood pneumonia in developing countries were developed primarily based on research conducted in the 1980s that identified the common causes of pneumonia.

Major changes have taken place since those studies were conducted that make the continued use of that evidence base potentially misleading. Most of the information available right now was collected before HIV infection became widespread and does not reflect changes in living conditions like the growth of mega-cities. Perhaps most importantly, access to pneumococcal and Hib conjugate vaccines is increasing around the world. When these two important causes of childhood pneumonia become less common, new treatment approaches will be needed.

Recent breakthroughs in laboratory testing also mean that the PERCH study will be able to identify infections that might have been missed in the past and perhaps even discover new, previously unknown viruses and bacteria. The PERCH study is using a new diagnostic test developed by Fast Track Diagnostics that can detect up to 30 different germs in a single specimen. Dr. Richard Adegbola, senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says "PERCH is a centerpiece of the Foundation's child health research programs. By harnessing the latest advances in science and technology, we expect the results of the PERCH study will make major contributions to the field of pneumonia control and prevention."

The KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya and the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa are two of eight collaborating research institutions and will be the first of seven sites to begin enrolling patients into the study. "By successfully introducing Hib and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in Kilifi, we are reducing the burden of serious pneumonia in our population. But we still have many cases among children admitted
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Contact: Julie Younkin
jbuss@jhsph.edu
410-340-9784
International Vaccine Access Center
Source:Eurekalert

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