World Pneumonia Day 2021

World Pneumonia Day 2021

Every Breath Counts - Call for volunteers on World Pneumonia Day

LSTM represents a centre of excellence in pneumonia research throughout the world, in particular the team in the Accelerator Research Clinic (ARC) developed a human pneumococcal challenge model to learn more about the immune responses to the pneumococcal bacteria in healthy adults and acts as a vaccine testing platform. The Experimental Human Pneumococcal Challenge (EHPC) Model is the only model in the world in which participants are inoculated with live pneumococcal bacteria in their nose and can be used as a transmission model for prevention strategies. LSTM’s expertise in vaccine research and clinical trials ensured it became one of the sites for testing the COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic.

Pneumonia remains one of the biggest causes of death, globally, and is responsible for 15 % of all deaths in children under 5 years old. Communities within Sub-Saharan Africa are the worst affected with only one third of children receiving the antibiotics they require for treatment highlighting the need for a better understanding of pneumococcal bacteria and the development of new vaccines. In addition, pneumonia is an infection that can be caused not only by pneumococcal bacteria but viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, a cold virus and influenza and, unfortunately, there is no vaccine which targets all causes of pneumonia.

Angie Hyder-Wright, ARC Manager and Senior Research Nurse, said: “We have currently recruited well over 3000 participants into our respiratory infection research studies over the last 10 years, and are delighted that we still have so many keen volunteers. The COVID-19 vaccine trials at LSTM showed how responsive the people of our region are in coming forward and taking part in clinical trials which contribute to saving lives.” Dr Andrea Collins, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine, continued: “Respiratory infections affect us all young and old, rich, or poor. For most of us they are just irritating and affect daily life for a few days but in others can potentially be catastrophic and kill. Unfortunately, doctors cannot always predict who will be affected and how.”

Consequently, on World Pneumonia Day the team are currently asking for volunteers to come forward and sign up to a database to receive information about trials taking place at LSTM. As such Liverpool can continue to play its part in saving lives both in the UK and overseas - #EveryBreathCounts – you can be part of the solution.

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