You are here

Media Centre

A Melbourne study has found intravenously administering antibiotics to children at home is as effective and safe as hospital treatment and better for their quality of life when treating a bacterial skin infection. The research, ‘Efficacy and safety of intravenous ceftriaxone at home versus intravenous flucloxacillin in hospital for children with cellulitis (CHOICE): a single-centre, open-label, randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial’, is published in the latest edition of The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The study led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute found treatment for cellulitis – a bacterial skin infection – in children should be done at home or in outpatient care where possible. Lead author and MCRI PhD student Dr Laila Ibrahim said having intravenous antibiotics therapy at home is becoming increasingly common but there was no evidence of its benefits from clinical trials until now. The research team says this is the first trial worldwide in children that has ...
The Heart Foundation has given $2.8 million to infectious disease researchers, who are developing a vaccine against strep A, the highly contagious bacteria that causes 350,000 deaths annually through rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Griffith University has developed two potential strep A vaccines which will soon be tested through a controlled human infection model that has been developed by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). “Strep A is almost as deadly as malaria parasites, tuberculosis bacteria and HIV but globally little has been invested in strep A research,” said Prof Michael Good from Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics. “The Heart Foundation funds will enable researchers from Griffith University and MCRI to do groundbreaking human clinical trial to test vaccines for strep A.” Infectious diseases expert Professor Andrew Steer, from MCRI, said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have the highest rates of RHD in the world. “Strep A usually begins with ...
Researchers and health professionals have produced the first rehabilitation guidelines in Australia to help children who have had a stroke*. Somewhere between 100 to 300 Australian children suffer a stroke every year. Associate Professor Mark MacKay, from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute who chaired the Guideline Development Committee of the ‘The Subacute Rehabilitation of Childhood Stroke Clinical Guidelines’ said more than half of the children who suffer a stroke will have long-term disabilities, affecting their physical functioning, communication, learning and social behavior. “The lifelong burden of stroke is of course greater for children than adults, because more than half of strokes occur in children under five years of age. These children, therefore, face decades of living with disability,” said A/Prof MacKay, who is also a neurologist with the Royal Children’s Hospital. “But perhaps the most crucial difference between paediatric and adult stroke is that the child will face difficulties achieving ...
Most women dramatically reduce their alcohol intake on learning they are pregnant, but by the time their child is five they are back to their pre-pregnancy drinking levels, a new international study has found. The research, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, reported little change in the drinking patterns of men on becoming fathers. The paper, ‘Alcohol and parenthood: an integrative analysis of the effects of transition to parenthood in three Australasian cohorts’ is published in the latest edition of Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal. Lead author, psychologist Dr Rohan Borschmann, said the study drew on data from three longitudinal population studies – two in Australia and one in New Zealand – which tracked the drinking habits of more than 4,000 people in their teens, twenties and thirties. “Most mothers with a child aged under one take a brief time out from drinking, but it doesn’t last,” Dr Borschmann ...
The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute based in Melbourne will be a key partner in a $35 million national consortium formed to fast track a vaccine against Strep A, the highly contagious bacterium that causes around 500,000 deaths every year. The Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt, has today awarded $35 million to the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth to the lead the consortium, with MCRI a key partner. MCRI infectious diseases professor Andrew Steer, who is a world expert in Strep A, said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have one of the highest rates of Strep A disease in the world. “Strep A usually begins with a sore throat, but if left untreated it causes the immune system to become overactive, which can result in rheumatic heart disease, where antibodies damage the heart valves,” Prof Steer said. “Globally Strep A is almost as deadly as malaria parasites, tuberculosis ...
An international study led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has made a breakthrough in identifying a potential cause of the most severe child speech impediment – apraxia. One in 1000 children has apraxia, but understating the origins of this debilitating speech disorder has until now remained elusive. A team of researchers, led by MCRI speech pathologist Prof Angela Morgan, has identified anomalies in a key speech pathway of the brain connected to speech. Prof Morgan said a better understanding could help neuroscientists and speech pathologists look to developing more targeted treatments for children. The research paper, ‘Dorsal language stream anomalies in an inherited speech disorder’ is published in the latest issue of the international journal, Brain . Prof Morgan, who is also Professor of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne, said children with apraxia fail to learn to speak clearly and combine sounds properly, the timing and sequencing ...
New research has found that giving young babies a general anesthetic has no lasting impact on their brain development or behavior. The study, published in the latest Lancet journal, looked at the effects of having surgery under an awake local anesthetic compared to a general anesthetic in 722 babies in 28 hospitals across seven countries. Professor Andrew Davidson from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, is one of the authors of the paper, ‘Neurodevelopmental outcome at 5 years of age after general anesthesia or awake-regional anesthesia in infancy (GAS): an international, multi-centre, randomised controlled equivalence trial’. Prof Davidson said the infants were all aged less than 60 weeks and underwent hernia operations (inguinal herniorrhaphies) between 2007 and 2013 in hospitals in Australia, Italy, US, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand. About half the group (361 babies) received an awake localised anesthetic while the other half, 359 babies, had a ...
New research has found that disadvantaged children would get a better start to life if maternal and child health nurses regularly visited their homes in the first two years to help their mothers improve parenting skills. A team of Australian researchers has developed a new early adversity-intervention program, right@home , which puts maternal and child health nurses in children’s homes on a recurring basis to support mothers as they develop their child care skills. Research analyzing the effectiveness of right@home in Victoria and Tasmania has been published in the Official Journal of American Paediatrics. “UNICEF and former US President Barack Obama both champion nurse home visits as a way to help disadvantaged families,” said lead investigator, Professor Sharon Goldfeld from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. “These are families dealing with challenges like poor mental health, a lack of employment, limited education, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence or even ...
Medical researchers at Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute have made a new discovery about how a baby’s sex is determined – it’s not just about the X-Y chromosomes, but involves a ’regulator’ that increases or decreases the activity of genes which decide if we become male or female. The study, ‘Human Sex Reversal is caused by Duplication or Deletion of Core Enhancers Upstream of SOX9’ has been published in the journal Nature Communications. MCRI researcher and Hudson Institute PhD student, Brittany Croft, is the first author. “The sex of a baby is determined by its chromosome make-up at conception. An embryo with two X chromosomes will become a girl, while an embryo with an X-Y combination results in a boy,” Ms Croft said. “The Y chromosome carries a critical gene, called SRY, which acts on another gene called SOX9 to start the development of testes in the embryo. High levels ...
Children as young as eight are vulnerable to poor body image as hormone levels rise with the onset of puberty, a new study has found. Dr Elizabeth Hughes, the lead author and a research fellow from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and the University of Melbourne, said the study explored a link between hormones and body satisfaction in young pre-pubescent children for the first time. The study is based on data from more than 1,100 eight- to nine-year-old girls and boys in Melbourne, collected for MCRI’s Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study. The research, ‘Body Image Dissatisfaction and the Adrenarchal Transition’ is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. Dr Hughes said the study clearly indicated that there was a need for strategies in schools and at home to help children maintain a positive body image prior to the onset of puberty. She said the study ...