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:
Tecnologías NGS para la Vigilancia Epidemiológica Molecular de S. pneumoniae y para determinar su invasividad. Quo vadis y Quo invades pneumococcus?
Leader
Carmen Muñoz Almagro
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Code
PI19/00104
Starting - finishing date:
2020 - 2022
Project name:
Microbiota infantil en els primers 2 anys de vida: relació amb el patró de creixement post-natal i el posterior desenvolupament de la síndrome de l’ovari poliquístic.
Leader
Carmen Muñoz Almagro, Lourdes Ibañez Toda
Funding entities:
Hospital Sant Joan de Déu - Esplugues HSJD
Code
BR201801
Starting - finishing date:
2019 - 2022
Project name:
Sol·licitud de subvencions en l'àmbit de la recerca i la innovació en salut per a la intensificació de professionals amb formació sanitària especialitzada: medicina, farmàcia, química, biologia, bioquímica, psicologia clínica, radiofísica hospitalària i infermeria, corresponents als anys 2019-2021
Leader
Antoni Noguera Julián
Funding entities:
Departament de Salut - Generalitat de Catalunya
Code
SLT008/18/00193
Starting - finishing date:
2019 - 2021
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Theses

  • Infección respiratoria aguda en el paciente pediátrico: valor de la cuantificación de la carga bacteriana y de la detección viral en muestra nasofaríngea mediante pruebas rápidas moleculares
    Author
    Brotons de los Reyes, Pedro
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    23/07/2019
  • Infeccions per enteroviurs i parechovirus que produeixen patologies neurològiques i sistèmiques en el pacient pediàtric. Vigilància epidemiológica i estudi de biomarcadors de gravetat
    Author
    Casas Alba, Didac
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    08/04/2019
  • Infeccions per Enterovirus i Paraechovirus que produeixen patologies neurològiques i sistèmiques en població pediàtrica. Vigilància epidemiològica i estudi de biomarcadors de gravetat
    Author
    Casas Alba, Didac
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    08/04/2019
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