GAPPS Bridges Two Research Efforts 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 participated 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 contributed to a landscape analysis of the potential impact of diagnostic tools for serious newborn infections. The neonatal infections project addressed 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 conducted 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 worked with PATH to complete a landscape analysis of serious maternal infections. This project focused 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 aimed to identify high-priority pathogens, promising diagnostic tools and how to deliver them in high-risk settings. GAPPS reviewed clinical syndromes associated with serious maternal infections, as well as the relevant pathogens involved, to determine critical times during pregnancy to diagnose these infections.