Kansas City,
01
June
2021
|
15:23 PM
Europe/Amsterdam

Dr. Liset Olarte Receives Grant to Study Pneumococcal Colonization in Young Children During COVID-19 Pandemic

Liset Olarte, MD, MSc, Division of Infectious Diseases, recently received a grant award to investigate pneumococcal colonization in children aged 5 and younger during the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The $129,892 award from the Merck Investigator Studies Program allows Dr. Olarte and her colleagues to study whether social distancing and other public health measures implemented during the pandemic decreases the nasopharyngeal colonization of Streptococcus pneumoniae in young children with and without respiratory symptoms.

Pneumococcal colonization plays an important role in the development of conditions like otitis media, sinusitis, meningitis and pneumonia, among others. In the nasopharynx, S. pneumoniae can acquire genetic material from other bacteria and become increasingly resistant to the antibiotics used to treat these illnesses.

“Understanding how public health measures implemented to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the community affect pneumococcal colonization in young children is critical, since they have the highest rates of pneumococcal colonization and are at risk for developing invasive pneumococcal diseases,” Dr. Olarte said. “The results of the study will provide important information on the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and pneumococcal colonization and its impact on invasive pneumococcal disease.”

Dr. Olarte’s Children’s Mercy co-investigators on the study include Rangaraj Selvarangan, PhD, Director of the Clinical Microbiology and Virology Laboratory; Douglas Swanson, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases; and Christopher Harrison, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases.

 

Summary

Liset Olarte, MD, MSc, Division of Infectious Diseases, recently received a grant award to investigate pneumococcal colonization in children aged 5 and younger during the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic.

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Children’s Mercy Kansas City is ranked as one of “America's Best Children's Hospitals” in nine specialties rated by U.S. News & World Report and has received MagnetTM recognition for excellence in nursing services five consecutive times. With 386 licensed beds and a medical staff of more than 750 pediatric subspecialists, we care for children from all 50 states and from around the world. In addition, our leadership in pediatric genomic medicine and individualized pediatric therapeutics is driving research and innovation in neonatology, nephrology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurology, heart, cancer and other subspecialties to transform outcomes for children. Children’s Mercy also is nationally recognized for innovation in psychosocial care and creating a family-centered environment focused on the unique needs of hospitalized children and their families. Our love for children powers everything we do, inspiring our research, innovations and our everyday care. Because love has no limits. And with it, neither do we.