Prevention of severe bacterial infections in children by optimizing protection through vaccination

Dr. Sadarangani's  research focuses on preventing severe illness and death in children by ensuring best use of vaccines to protect against three serious infections (meningococcal, pneumococcal, pertussis) which cause blood poisoning, meningitis and whooping cough.

Vaccines have reduced these infections, but we dont know if we are usng the optimal number and timing of dses. Sadarangani's goals are to ensure optimal use of these vaccines and aid development of future vaccines.

The project will:

  1. Compare the current three doses of pneumococcal vaccine given to infants against two doses. If there is no difference using two doses would mean fewer injections and lower cost.
  2. Compare the response to meningococcal vaccine in adolescents who have received 1, 2 or 3 previous doses, and compare the three available vaccines to identify any differences between them.
  3. Compare the effectiveness of pertussis vaccinefor whooping cough at different times of pregnancy to confirm the best time to immunize to protect the infant
  4. Examine the genetics of the pneumococcal bacteria to understand its transmission and evolution.

This research will improve vaccine schedules and help design future vaccines, ensuring that children continue to be protected against these devastating infections.