Dr. Grace John-Stewart, a professor of global health, epidemiology, medicine and pediatrics at the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine, was recently awarded an $828,368 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the impact of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) exposure on infants who received the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination, which is commonly used to prevent tuberculosis (TB).
“This study will help us to understand whether HIV exposure or infection modifies the way infants respond to the BCG vaccine and how this, in turn, could affect their susceptibility to TB infection,” said Dr. John-Stewart, who serves as director of the Global Center for the Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents and Children. She was recently named co-principal investigator on the grant along with Dr. Cheryl Day. Co-investigators include Dr. Sylvia LaCourse, Dr. Dalton Wamalwa and Dr. Elizabeth Maleche-Obimbo.
“It is possible that in utero exposure to HIV or antiretroviral therapy alters the way children respond to the BCG vaccine,” Dr. John-Stewart said. “By understanding whether and how HIV exposure modifies BCG immune responses, it may be possible to improve vaccines or protection of HIV-exposed infants.”Friday Letter Submission