A/Professor Paul Licciardi
Dr Paul Licciardi is a Research Fellow who leads the Vaccine Immunology Stream within the Pneumococcal Research Group. He completed his PhD in the Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne in 2008 where he then joined MCRI to complete his post-doc under the supervision of Professor Kim Mulholland.
Paul's research interests include understanding the immunogenicity and long-term protection following alternative vaccination schedules in resource-limited settings, with a particular focus on pneumococcal and HPV vaccines. His research also spans immunological studies on RSV as well as the role of vitamin D and probiotics on human health. He is an investigator on a number of national and international grants from NHMRC, Gates Foundation, MRC-UK, AusAID and NIH, has presented at numerous scientific meetings and published more than 50 manuscripts and book chapters.
As stream leader, Paul currently supervises a group of 14 staff and students, including two post-doctoral researchers, three PhD students, four Honours students, two research assistants and four international placement students.
Honorary Senior Fellow, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne
Honorary Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin
Consultant, Singapore Polytechnic
2016: MCRI Supervisor/Mentor Award
2011-2014: NHMRC Early Career Fellowship
2010: Travel award, 7th International Symposium of Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases, Tel Aviv, Israel
Dr Licciardi's team is actively engaged in basic and clinical research to understand the basis of immunological protection against pneumococcal carriage and childhood pneumonia during infection and following vaccination. A focus of this work is the evaluation of alternative vaccine schedules in developing countries looking to introduce cost-effective vaccination programs.
One of the key questions the Vaccine Immunology group is addressing is the cellular basis of long-term immunity following pneumococcal and HPV vaccination, with a particular emphasis on B cell memory. Studies have been completed in Fiji with an ongoing clinical trial in Vietnam designed to answer this question. The group also researches the role of specialised immune cells, called Th17 cells, in protection against pneumococcal carriage and disease, with ongoing studies in Vietnam as well in the Indigenous population of the Northern Territory of Australia where pneumococcal disease risk is one of the highest in the world.
The laboratory evaluates pneumococcal vaccine immunogenicity using a range of WHO-recommended and internationally-standardised methodologies. It is one of the only groups worldwide with the capacity to evaluate pneumococcal vaccine immunogenicity as part of large clinical trials to all serotypes in the currently-available vaccines using WHO ELISA, multiplexed opsonophagocytosis and B cell assays. For HPV vaccines, we collaborate with Prof Ian Frazer's group and have established the HPV neutralisation assay at MCRI.
In addition, the group examines other causes of childhood pneumonia such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the impact of pneumococcal-RSV co-infections on disease severity as well as the role of vitamin D on immune regulation.
- Vietnam pneumococcal project - immunogenicity and long-term protection by alternative pneumococcal vaccination schedules
- Long-term immunity following reduced dose HPV schedules in Fiji
- Immune susceptibility to severe RSV disease during early infancy
- RSV-pneumococcal co-infection studies
- Effects of vitamin D on the host response to infection with pneumococcus and/or RSV
- Impact of malnutrition on protective immune responses
Toh ZQ, Russell FM, Reyburn R, Fong J, Tuivaga E, Ratu T, Nguyen CD, Devi R, Kama M, Matanitobua S, Tabrizi SN, Garland SM, Sinha R, Frazer I, Tikoduadua L, Kado J, Rafai E, Mulholland EK, Licciardi PV. Sustained antibody responses six years following one, two, or three doses of quadrivalent HPV vaccine in adolescent Fijian girls, and subsequent responses to a single dose of bivalent HPV vaccine: a prospective cohort study. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Dec 28. pii: ciw865. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciw865. [Epub ahead of print]
Hoe E, Nathanielsz J, Toh ZQ, Spry L, Marimla R, Balloch A, Mulholland K, Licciardi PV. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Vitamin D on Human Immune Cells in the Context of Bacterial Infection. Nutrients. 2016 Dec 12;8(12). pii: E806.
Ismail IH, Boyle RJ, Licciardi PV, Oppedisano F, Lahtinen S, Robins-Browne RM, Tang ML. Early gut colonization by Bifidobacterium breve and B. catenulatum differentially modulates eczema risk in children at high risk of developing allergic disease. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2016 Dec;27(8):838-846.
Licciardi PV, Toh ZQ, Clutterbuck EA, Balloch A, Marimla RA, Tikkanen L, Lamb KE, Bright KJ, Rabuatoka U, Tikoduadua L, Boelsen LK, Dunne EM, Satzke C, Cheung YB, Pollard AJ, Russell FM, Mulholland EK. No long-term evidence of hyporesponsiveness after use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in children previously immunized with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2016 Jun;137(6):1772-1779.e11.
Dang TD, Allen KJ, J Martino D, Koplin JJ, Licciardi PV, Tang ML. Food-allergic infants have impaired regulatory T-cell responses following in vivo allergen exposure. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2016 Feb;27(1):35-43.
Dunne EM, Tikkanen L, Balloch A, Gould K, Yoannes M, Phuanukoonnon S, Licciardi PV, Russell FM, Mulholland EK, Satzke C, Hinds J.Characterization of 19A-like 19F pneumococcal isolates from Papua New Guinea and Fiji. New Microbes New Infect. 2015 Jul 4;7:86-8.
Toh ZQ, Licciardi PV, Fong J, Garland SM, Tabrizi SN, Russell FM, Mulholland EK. Reduced dose human papillomavirus vaccination: an update of the current state-of-the-art. Vaccine. 2015 Sep 22;33(39):5042-50.
Boelsen LK, Dunne EM, Lamb KE, Bright K, Cheung YB, Tikoduadua L, Russell FM, Mulholland EK, Licciardi PV, Satzke C. Long-term impact of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination on nasopharyngeal carriage in children previously vaccinated with various pneumococcal conjugate vaccine regimes. Vaccine. 2015 Oct 13;33(42):5708-14.
Tsoi SK, Smeesters PR, Frost HR, Licciardi P, Steer AC. Correlates of Protection for M Protein-Based Vaccines against Group A Streptococcus. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:167089.
Hoe E, Boelsen LK, Toh ZQ, Sun GW, Koo GC, Balloch A, Marimla R, Dunne EM, Tikoduadua L, Russell FM, Satzke C, Mulholland EK, Licciardi PV. Reduced IL-17A Secretion Is Associated with High Levels of Pneumococcal Nasopharyngeal Carriage in Fijian Children. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 12;10(6):e0129199.
Tang ML, Ponsonby AL, Orsini F, Tey D, Robinson M, Su EL, Licciardi P, Burks W, Donath S. Administration of a probiotic with peanut oral immunotherapy: A randomized trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Mar;135(3):737-44.e8.
Ismail IH, Boyle RJ, Mah LJ, Licciardi PV, Tang ML. Reduced neonatal regulatory T cell response to microbial stimuli associates with subsequent eczema in high-risk infants. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2014 Nov;25(7):674-84.
Tortorella SM, Royce SG, Licciardi PV, Karagiannis TC. Dietary Sulforaphane in Cancer Chemoprevention: The Role of Epigenetic Regulation and HDAC Inhibition. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2015 Jun 1;22(16):1382-424.
Dunne EM, Toh ZQ, John M, Manning J, Satzke C, Licciardi P. Investigating the effects of probiotics on pneumococcal colonization using an in vitro adherence assay. J Vis Exp. 2014 Apr 28;(86).
Licciardi PV, Russell FM, Balloch A, Burton RL, Nahm MH, Gilbert G, Tang ML, Mulholland EK. Impaired serotype-specific immune function following pneumococcal vaccination in infants with prior carriage. Vaccine. 2014 Apr 25;32(20):2321-7.
Balloch A, Licciardi PV, Kemp AS, Leach AJ, Mulholland EK, Tang ML. Comparison of anti-pneumococcal antibodies in cord blood from Australian indigenous and Gambian neonates and the implications for otitis media. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2014 Apr;33(4):e116-20.
Licciardi PV, Ismail IH, Balloch A, Mui M, Hoe E, Lamb K, Tang ML. Maternal Supplementation with LGG Reduces Vaccine-Specific Immune Responses in Infants at High-Risk of Developing Allergic Disease. Front Immunol. 2013 Nov 26;4:381.
Dang TD, Tang ML, Koplin JJ, Licciardi PV, Eckert JK, Tan T, Gurrin LC, Ponsonby AL, Dharmage SC, Allen KJ; HealthNuts study. Characterization of plasma cytokines in an infant population cohort of challenge-proven food allergy. Allergy. 2013 Oct;68(10):1233-40.
- National Health and Medical Research Council
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Abt JTA (Australian AID)
- MRC (UK) - MOST (Vietnam)