There is a dearth of information about the disease burden attributable to lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) and specific causes of disease in many settings. Evidence on effective antibiotic regimens is incomplete, and antibiotic resistance is a major and growing problem.
Important priorities include the need for simple methods to identify patients requiring antibiotics on the basis of clinical signs. There is a need to identify and evaluate the most appropriate antibiotic regimens. Low-cost methods for oxygen delivery to treat children with hypoxaemia (low blood oxygen levels) are also required.
As well as immunocompromised HIV-infected individuals, target populations will include children and the elderly and those hospitalised with LRTIs. Priority pathogens have been identified that affect particular population groups: group B streptococci, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and pneumococcus in neonates; RSV, pneumococcus and cytomegalovirus in children; and pneumococcus in adults.
Supported studies focus on diagnostics, drugs and vaccine development, including several on vaccine development for infections mainly affecting children.