Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) is leading an international registry on paediatric and neonatal SARS-CoV-2 infections called EPICENTRE (EsPnIc Covid pEdiatric NeonaTal REgistry) which will be crucial to improving children's intensive care outcomes following COVID-19.

EPICENTRE will collate and distribute clinical and disease biology data on paediatric COVID-19 cases and on babies born to mothers with SARS-VoV-2 infection.

The data from the more than 100 paediatric intensive care units across Europe and Australia will then inform researchers on COVID-19 epidemiology and clinical course to improve patient outcomes.

Associate Professor David Tingay, group leader of MCRI neonatal research, said, "MCRI was chosen to lead this initiative due to our outstanding international reputation for running paediatric trials and registries, and because Australia is not experiencing the same acute healthcare pressures as our European colleagues. This gives us the opportunity to establish robust and valuable resources that will improve patient treatment in this pandemic, and prepare us for future global challenges.

Associate Professor Daniele De Luca, Paediatrics and Neonatal Critical Care at South Paris-Saclay University said, "As COVID19 respects no borders, it is pivotal to act globally to try to get as much data as possible from everywhere, avoiding duplication and wasting critical time. EPICENTRE is an astounding example of making it happen. No-one is an island in a pandemic."

EPICENTRE data will be de-identified and divided into two arms - neonatal (cases diagnosed in babies under a month old) and paediatric (cases diagnosed in children over one month). It will form the largest international paediatric COVID-19 registry.

The Registry has also been designed to be able to merge data with similar international registries being launched in other continents.

Hospitals are welcome and encouraged to join EPICENTRE, even if they are not members of the coordinating body ESPNIC (European Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Society). All participating centres will be named as authors in future presentations and publications arising from EPICENTRE.

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About MCRI

The Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) is the largest child health research institute in Australia committed to making discoveries and developing treatments to improve child and adolescent health in Australia and around the world. They are pioneering new treatments, trialling better vaccines and improving ways of diagnosing and helping sick babies, children and adolescents. It is one of the only research institutes in Australia to offer genetic testing to find answers for families of children with previously undiagnosed conditions.