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.

About Us

Children’s Mercy Kansas City is an independent, non-profit, 386-bed pediatric health system, providing over half a million patient encounters each year for children from across the country. Children’s Mercy is ranked by U.S. News & World Report in nine specialties. We have received Magnet® recognition five times for excellence in nursing services. In affiliation with the University of Missouri-Kansas City, our faculty of more than 800 pediatric specialists and researchers is actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research and educating the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists. The Children’s Mercy Research Institute (CMRI) integrates research and clinical care with nationally recognized expertise in genomic medicine, precision therapeutics, population health and health care innovation. In 2021 the CMRI moved into a nine-story, 375,000-square-foot space emphasizing a translational approach to research in which clinicians and researchers work together to accelerate the pace of discovery that enhances care.