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West Australian Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Study (WAIVE)

 Through an established collaboration with the PMH emergency department, the WAIVE study is the largest paediatric influenza vaccine effectiveness study in the Southern Hemisphere. This project has had a significant impact on public policy: data was used to support the current recommendation for influenza vaccination for Indigenous children and to support the ongoing recommendation for influenza vaccine in all young children in Western Australia. The study continues to contribute data to the World Health Organisation through the Global Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness (GIVE) network to guide vaccine strain choice. In addition, the project has resulted in numerous publications in international journals. Going forward, this study gives us the opportunity to evaluate new vaccines expected to be released in 2015-2017.

Influenza Complications Alert Network - FluCAN

Through a national collaboration, data on paediatric severe influenza burden (weekly) and vaccine effectiveness (annually) is calculated. This project is an integral component of national influenza surveillance and also contribute data to the World Health Organisation through the Global Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness (GIVE) network to guide vaccine strain choice.

Paediatric Active Enhanced Diseases Surveillance (PAEDS)

The national enhanced surveillance scheme, modelled on the Canadian IMPACT program, operates through dedicated nursing positions based in five tertiary paediatric hospital: Princess Margaret Hospital, Children's Hospital Westmead, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Women's and Children's Hospital Adelaide and Lady Cilento Children's Hospital Brisbane. Clinical samples and biological specimens are collected on children with key conditions including acute flaccid paralysis, severe varicella, intussusception, pertussis, febrile seizures and acute childhood encephalitis. Funded by the Commonwealth and state departments of health, this project is becomingly increasingly productive (Macartney et al, Vaccine 2014; Dodd et al, Vaccine 2013; Zurysnki et al, JCPH 2013; Carlin et al, CID 2013; Buttery et al, Vaccine 2011). Through the intussusception and febrile seizure streams, research has already significantly impacted on national and international vaccine policy.

TESTOV Pneumo/PneumoWA

The NHMRC funded TESTOV-Pneumo study (CIB Snelling) and Telethon-Perth Children's Hospital Research Grant funded PneumoWA study (CIA Blyth) builds upon established collaborative studies with the PMH Emergency Department, Department of General Paediatrics and Rheola St, Central Immunisation Clinic. The aims of this study is to assess the impact of respiratory viruses and bacteria and their relative contribution to pneumonia in children, to determine how frequently coinfection occurs and the impact of coinfection in childhood pneumonia and to explore the relationships between the amount of virus and  bacteria in the respiratory tract and its impact on disease. The study commenced in May 2015.

Bacteraemia prevention

The urgent need for a hospital wide approach to central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) has been previously identifed. This is a critical element of hospital-wide paediatric care, and a pre- and post- intervention project assessing the effectiveness of an antiseptic lock to reduce CLABSI rates is anticipated to start in late 2015. Pre-intervention data is currently being collected. 

Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is the most common bacteria resulting in an infectious diseases consult. Diseases caused by S. aureus range from superficial skin infections to life-threatening, multifocal bacteraemia. Dr Bowen is collaborating with colleagues across Australia and New Zealand to define the epidemiology of the severe spectrum of S. aureus in children with the objective of establishing a randomised controlled trial of adjunctive treatment of this condition.


Hospital iThe Home (HiTH) MAtTeRS: a Mobile, At-home Telehealth Review Study of HiTH is a prospective, cohort study undertaken within the Department of General Paediatrics and Infectious Diseases. It aims to assess whether telehealth will facilitate expansion of HiTH services and realise absolute cost-savings and efficiencies of the HiTH program.

Papua New Guinea Pneumonia Aetiology Study

This three year project (2013-2015) has recruited nearly 1000 children with clinical pneumonia and matched community controls from the highlands of PNG. Using both traditional and molecular methods, we will determine the aetiology of pneumonia in children. These data will be used to monitor the impact of pneumococcal vaccination into Papua New Guinea. These data have been integral in demonstrating, despite the national program, that children are not being vaccinated against pneumococcus, haemophilus and pertussis: current haemophilus and pertussis vaccine uptake <40%; current pneumococcal vaccine uptake <20%. Through the project, successful international collaborations with investigators in Melbourne (Lead: Fiona Russell), Laos and Mongolia have been established (Gates funded 2015-2018).