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Researcher recognised for antibiotic dosing guidelines

Institute News
Monday, December 14, 2020 - 4:16pm

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s (MCRI) Dr Amanda Gwee has been recognised for her research that’s led to new antibiotic dosing guidelines for babies. 

Dr Gwee is a finalist in the Bupa Health Foundation’s Emerging Health Researcher Awards for early-career researchers. 

Her findings will have a lasting impact on the health of children with new antibiotic dosing guidelines developed through her research already being used in hospitals across Australia and overseas. 

“There’s not a lot of information about how we should use antibiotics in children compared to adults. It’s an area we really need to improve on with a strong workforce. I’m proud of the fact my research has already changed practice and that I’ve been able to bring other people on who are interested in this research topic,” Dr Gwee said.  

“It’s hard to be an early career researcher… it’s a highly competitive field with lots of talented people. This has made me even more committed to building on my research in the future.”

Dr Gwee said bloodstream infections were the leading cause of death in babies worldwide.

“The key to effective treatment is giving the right antibiotic at the right dose. The most common antibiotic used to treat these infections is vancomycin,” she said.

Dr Gwee’s research found that giving the antibiotic to babies continuously by intravenous drip worked better.  

By using computer modelling, she also discovered how much vancomycin is needed to treat blood stream infections for each individual baby.

“I have developed a web application, so with a simple click of a button a health worker can personalise the vancomycin dose not only for the baby but the infection we are trying to treat,” Dr Gwee said. 

Professor Nigel Curtis who nominated Dr Gwee for the Award said “The work that Dr Gwee is doing will really make a difference to the health of the community and impact on better outcomes for children with infections.”