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Bacterial viral co-infections and RSV epidemiology

Sandy Pingali, MPH ’15, working hard in the lab
Infections with influenza virus increase the risk for developing bacterial infections, particularly those cause by pneumococcus. We are interested in understanding what risk groups are most affected by these interactions, which bacterial strains are most affected, and the implications of these interactions for pneumococcal vaccine impact.

Working with colleagues at the NIH and AHRQ, we recently found that the 2009 influenza pandemic was associated with a particularly strong increase in pneumococcal hospitalizations among school-aged children and young adults. In collaboration with Ron Dagan and David Greenberg, we have been evaluating the potential role of RSV in biasing estimates of pneumococcal vaccine impact against pneumonia in southern Israel. We worked with Kate O’Brien at Johns Hopkins to understand the relationship between seasonal variations of viral activity, bacterial carriage, and bacterial disease rates among the Navajo and White Mountain Apache populations in the southwestern United States. In an ongoing study, I am working with Joice Reis and Guilherme Ribeiro to study the seasonal patterns of respiratory infections among children in a favela community in Salvador, Brazil.

In ongoing studies, we are working with Ginny Pitzer and Cecile Viboud to understand the epidemiology of RSV infections in the United States and to determine the most optimal strategy for prophylaxis.



Phone: 203-737-6004