Australia’s active hospital-based surveillance for severe childhood disease


Principal investigator 

Dr Adam Irwin

Bloodstream infections (BSI) in children are increasingly healthcare-associated and occur in those with complex comorbidities. In these children, Gram-negative organisms cause almost one half of all BSI and are associated with significant mortality. In an era when the threat of antimicrobial resistance is growing, Gram-negative BSI (GNBSI) represent a significant concern. The development and evaluation of new, effective antimicrobials for resistant Gram-negative infections is particularly limited in children.

Existing surveillance systems rarely capture paediatric-specific data.

We have established prospective surveillance of GNBSI in children in tertiary children’s hospitals throughout Australia. This surveillance is necessary to understand the clinical and molecular epidemiology of GNBSI and multi-drug resistant GNBSI in children. It will augment data collected by the Australian Group on Antimicrobial Resistance Gram-negative Sepsis Outcome Program, and will help to explain transmission dynamics of both susceptible and resistant invasive Gram-negative organisms in Australian children. Recruitment commenced in January 2019.