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Junior Fellowship - 2023


Exploring a novel approach for preventing otitis media
Dr. Brianna Atto

Project Description

Infection of the middle ear (otitis media; OM) is an important disease in early childhood-there are-709 million cases every year, making it one of the most common reasons for health care visits, antibiotic prescription, and preventable hearing loss in children. Children who experience recurrent or persistent episodes of OM are at high risk of developing serious complications, including hearing loss which can have life-long consequences for cognitive and social development. The most common cause of OM is the bacterium Haemophilus influenza (Hi), which after attaching to the upper airways, migrates to the middle ear where it causes infection. It is difficult to clear this bacterium from the upper airways as it often forms thick aggregates (biofilms) which are highly resistant to antibiotics therapy, resulting in constant or repeat infections. The goal of this work is to develop a novel therapy, using a non-harmful bacterium (or a protein it produces), that can achieve improved prevention and treatment of OM caused by Hi.

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