Investigation of severe and lethal cases of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease in children
Date：13-08-2010 | 【Print】 【close】
Institut Pasteur of Shanghai (IPS), a member institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announces today the signing of a clinical research agreement with the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University (CHFU) on hand foot mouth disease (HFMD), China’s second most lethal infectious disease in 2010.
Since 2008, over 30,000 severe HFMD cases have been diagnosed in China and the disease has already cost the life of more than 1200 children*. Severe cases of HFMD are caused by Enterovirus 71 (EV71) which can infect the brain to cause encephalitis, poliomyelitis-like syndrome and/or pulmonary edema. There is no vaccine or drug against EV71 and a prognostic test for early detection of children developing severe complications is urgently needed. The Ministry of Health considers HFMD drug and vaccine R&D a top public health priority.
Dr. Xiaohong Wang, Director of Infectious Diseases Department at CHFU: “We are concerned by the trend of increased severity and mortality of HFMD infections in China. Our cooperation with IPS will allow a comprehensive analysis of what leads to severe disease and death in infected children.”
The clinical and laboratory investigation by the joint team from IPS and CHFU will identify viral, immunological and host genetic factors responsible for severe infections in children. The study is open to other clinical research centers in China and the Asian region. “We have already enrolled more than 20 patients”, said Dr. Mei Zeng, Clinical Principal Investigator at CHFU.
Prof. Ralf Altmeyer, Director General of IPS: “Our cooperation with CHFU is well positioned to generate breakthrough data to enable the development of HFMD therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostic/prognostic tests. CHFU hosts Shanghai’s largest dedicated HFMD ward and our two institutions have highly complementary skill sets. We expect to make major contributions to this major public health issue.”
The clinical research study is set for three years and is supported by grants from the Li Ka-Shing Foundation (Hong Kong), the French Agency for Development (Paris) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Institut Pasteur Shanghai (IPS) is the first legally-independent international institute of CAS. Founded in 2004 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institut Pasteur and the Shanghai Municipal Government, IPS is an independent, non-profit life sciences institute which works closely with Chinese authorities to address public health issues. IPS creates synergies between the Institut Pasteur and CAS networks, leveraging all the assets of Shanghai as one of Asia’s leading business and technology hubs. More than 160 scientists are engaged in a broad range of infectious disease research programs ranging from Hepatitis C, Hand Foot Mouth Disease and Respiratory Viruses to virus-induced cancers. IPS plans to grow up to 400 scientists from 2012 onwards, when its phase II development will start.
* Source: www.moh.gov.cn
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