Infectious diseases and microbiome

Where we are

SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

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Our research group focuses on the study of the clinical, molecular and epidemiological aspects of the principal infectious diseases in children, as well as how diagnosis might be improved.

We have been part of the Centre for Biomedical Network Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) since 2016 and recognised as a consolidated research group by AGAUR (Government of Catalonia, 2017/SGR/742) since 2009.

Research lines

  1. Molecular epidemiological surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases. We carry out studies to evaluate vaccines against prevalent childhood infections as well as the molecular characterisation of the main clones that cause diseases.
  2. We study vertically-transmitted diseases to further our knowledge on the natural history, prognostic diagnosis and treatment of mother-to-child transmitted infections.
  3. Tuberculosis, investigating treatment adherence and toxicity associated with first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs and the clinical-epidemiological features of tuberculosis in childhood.
  4. Human microbiome. This research focuses on the development of the human microbiome in the paediatric population and the relationship of different microbiota profiles according to clinical and epidemiological variables.
  5. Diagnostic innovation, aimed at the design and evaluation of new fast accurate and low-cost microbiological diagnostic techniques.

Scientific objectives

  1. To further understand the course of paediatric invasive pneumococcal disease after including the pneumococcal conjugate 13-valent vaccine in the vaccination schedule.
  2. To analyse the effectiveness of administering the whooping cough vaccine during the third trimester of pregnancy to prevent whooping cough.
  3. To investigate the association between the composition of the nasopharyngeal microbiota and the clinical, epidemiological and microbiological characteristics of infants under one year of age with a clinical whooping cough diagnosis.
  4. To analyse the factors associated with the composition of the nasopharyngeal microbiota and its role as a differential marker between bacterial pneumonia or respiratory viral infection in children.
  5. To identify a microbiota indicative of a risk of severe respiratory rhinovirus infection in children under five years.
  6. To develop and validate a clinical metagenomic sequencing assay based on non-targeted next-generation sequencing (mNGS) for the rapid, simple, accurate and affordable identification of pathogens causing sepsis and meningitis.

Area/Field of expertise

The research carried out by our group is part of the study of the clinical, microbiological, molecular and therapeutic aspects of paediatric infectious diseases. We are a multidisciplinary team of researchers specialising in paediatrics, microbiology, bioinformatics, biostatistics and management. One of the greatest challenges of the group is the study of the human microbiome and diagnostic innovation in infectious diseases with the use of next-generation mass sequencing. This new activity is combined with our consolidated research experience within each of the lines of inquiry in which we work.

Group members

Last Publications

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Projects

Project name:
Contratos predoctorales de formación en investigación en salud (PFIS). Beneficiari: María Rios
Leader
Antoni Noguera Julián
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Code
FI20/00237
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2025
Project name:
Implementation of the single-step heat-treated direct RT-LAM protocol in the HIBERGENE COVID-19 saliva-based diagnostic system
Leader
Carmen Muñoz Almagro
Funding entities:
Hibergene Diagnostic Limited
Code
PCP00324
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2022
Project name:
Contract ECD.11486- “Developing an infrastructure and performing vaccine effectiveness studies for COVID-19 vaccine in the EU/EEA”. LOT3 (HCW)
Leader
Carmen Muñoz Almagro
Funding entities:
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
Code
PCP00319
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2021
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Theses

  • Implementació i resultats d'un programa d’optimització d’ús d’antimicrobians (PROA) pediàtric a un hospital infantil de tercer nivell
    Author
    Simó Nebot, Silvia
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    18/06/2021
  • Pneumococcal adaptation during invasion
    Institution
    Universidade Nova de Lisboa
    18/12/2020
  • Utilidad de las técnicas de inmunodiagnóstico de la infección tuberculosa en niños menores de 5 años
    Author
    Velasco, Eneritz
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    15/12/2020
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