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:
Estudio de la capacidad de resilencia a largo y corto plazo de la microbiota nasofaríngea y su implicación en el paso de la colonización a enfermedad invasiva por bacterias patobiontes
Leader
Carmen Muñoz Almagro
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Code
PI23/00049
Starting - finishing date:
2024 - 2026
Project name:
Subvenció per a la incorporació de personal de suport als grups de recerca, corresponent als anys 2023-2025
Leader
Carmen Muñoz Almagro
Funding entities:
Generalitat de Catalunya
Code
SLT028/23/000262
Starting - finishing date:
2023 - 2025
Project name:
Convenio Mutua de Terrassa
Leader
Carmen Muñoz Almagro
Funding entities:
Fundació Mutua Terrasa per a la docència i la recerca i Biomedica i Social
Code
PCP00388
Starting - finishing date:
2023 - 2023
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Theses

  • Estudio del papel de la microbiota nasofaríngea en la gravedad de la infección por Rino/Enterovirus humano en niños menores de 5 años
    Author
    Penela Sánchez, Daniel
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    21/09/2023
  • Utilitat del QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus en el diagnòstic de la infecció tuberculosa latent i la malaltia tuberculosa en població pediàtrica.
    Author
    Soler García, Aleix
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    29/05/2023
  • Microbiota nasofaríngea en niños con enfermedad neumocócica invasiva, infección respiratoria banal y niños sanos: caracterización, factores moduladores y valor diagnóstico diferencial
    Author
    Henares Bonilla, Desiree
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    14/06/2022
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