Targeting Serious Neonatal and Maternal Infections
Serious infections are responsible for millions of neonatal and maternal deaths each year, and for those who survive, they frequently result in chronic medical problems. The vast majority of these deaths occur in developing countries where mothers and their babies lack access to timely diagnosis and treatment. GAPPS is currently participating in two research projects to identify opportunities to detect serious infections and discover potential interventions for mothers and their newborns.
In collaboration with the University of Edinburgh and other investigators, GAPPS is contributing to a landscape analysis of the potential impact of diagnostic tools for serious newborn infections. The neonatal infections project addresses the fact that current approaches to diagnosis and management of these infections are hindered by the inability to diagnosis infections in low-resource settings. GAPPS is conducting a comprehensive review of emerging novel biomarkers and technologies that may be used to develop a point-of-care diagnostic tool for neonatal infections in these settings.
In a parallel effort, GAPPS is working with PATH to complete a landscape analysis of serious maternal infections. This project focuses on reducing maternal death rates by examining what microbes cause these infections and how clinical management, new technologies and other tools can be used during and immediately after pregnancy. Investigators aim to identify high-priority pathogens, promising diagnostic tools and how to deliver them in high-risk settings. GAPPS is reviewing clinical syndromes associated with serious maternal infections, as well as the relevant pathogens involved, to determine critical times during pregnancy to diagnose these infections.
Research partners closely collaborate on each project, with GAPPS playing a significant role in bridging the efforts to ensure a consistent and comprehensive approach to the analysis.
“These projects are great examples of how GAPPS is facilitating the development of evidence-based approaches to address the problems of preterm birth and stillbirth. Through collaborations and partnerships we are promoting the development of an integrated strategy to improve maternal and newborn health." – Dr. Craig Rubens, executive director, GAPPS