Classification of respiratory infections: a microbiome approach

Principal Investigator: Debby Bogaert
Institution: Center for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh
Co-Investigators: Shabir Madhi (Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit, South Africa), Vicky Baillie (Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit, South Africa), David Moore (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa)

Start date:  December 2019

Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are a leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality.  Presence of potentially pathogenic organisms in the respiratory tract of children does not indicate disease. However, a recent study in the Netherlands suggests that the state of nasopharyngeal microbiota is a good predictor of clinical RTIs (WH Man et al. Lancet Resp Med 2019: PMID: 30885620). This MPRU funded project will investigate the utility of microbiota-based diagnostic techniques to classify RTIs and predict disease severity using a subset of samples collected in South Africa as part of the Pneumonia Etiology Research for Child Health (PERCH) study. The classification models obtained from this study and the previous Netherlands study will be compared to try to identify a universal signature, and to characterize possible differences between low-carriage and high endemic populations.

Aim and Impact 

Characterize the nasopharyngeal microbiota in children with LRTI and controls in South Africa (PERCH cohort)