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MPIDB (formerly the Pediatric, Adolescent, and Maternal AIDS Branch) supports and conducts domestic and international research related to the epidemiology, diagnosis, clinical manifestations, pathogenesis, transmission, treatment, and prevention of
HIV infection and its complications in infants, children, adolescents, and women (pregnant and non-pregnant). As the HIV epidemic has evolved and other infectious diseases have emerged in the United States and globally, the Branch has ensured that its funded research reflects these changes and addresses important research opportunities and gaps as they arise, including HIV-associated co-infections (such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, and malaria) in children and pregnant women. Furthermore, MPIDB supports and conducts research into the epidemiology, natural history, pathogenesis, transmission, treatment, and prevention of
other significant infectious diseases, including: congenital infections, such as Zika virus and cytomegalovirus; tropical diseases, specifically those that affect children and pregnant women; and vaccine-preventable disease in infants, children, adolescents, and women.
New: Research Priorities
Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are ongoing threats and often have a disparate impact on pregnant women, infants, children, and adolescents.
Priority: Study emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases that affect pregnant women, infants, children, and adolescents (e.g., Zika virus).
HIV: Adolescent Prevention
Gap: While effective biomedical modalities to prevent HIV infection in adults now exist, none have been shown to be effective in adolescents.
Priority: Investigate feasible, acceptable, safe, and scalable strategies to increase uptake of and adherence to HIV prevention modalities in adolescents and young adults, as well as strategies to assess their effectiveness.
HIV: Adverse Pregnancy and Infant Outcomes in the Era of "Option B+"
Gap: With the widespread use of lifelong antiretroviral therapy, more women worldwide are now conceiving on therapy. Thus, while HIV transmission rates have declined, therapy has been associated with increased rates of adverse pregnancy and infant outcomes.
Priority: Elucidate the mechanisms of adverse pregnancy and infant outcomes with antiretroviral therapy use during pregnancy and methods to prevent these adverse outcomes.
HIV: Cure/Remission in Infants and Children
Gap: HIV cure strategies showing promise in adults with HIV infection will likely differ from those in infants and children.
Priority: Encourage characterization of HIV reservoirs and persistence and potential strategies, including vaccine and other immune-based therapy research, for HIV cure/remission in infants and children.
Immune Connection and Communication
Gap: Little is known about the immune connection and communication between the pregnant woman, placenta, and fetus, and their effects on infant immunity.
Priority: Support research to improve understanding of the immune connection and communication between the pregnant woman, placenta, and fetus, and their effects on infant immunity; these include studies of the microbiome and host-pathogen interactions and their outcomes.
Impact of Infections on Pediatric Nervous System
Gap: The type and manifestation (e.g., acuity, severity, extent, and postinfectious sequelae) of infections in infants and children—whose nervous system is developing—create clinical syndromes that are very different from syndromes of adults.
Priority: Support research to understand the impact of infections that affect the pediatric nervous system and to develop tools for the assessment of the nervous system of infants and children.