Division of Infectious Diseases

Mission

The mission of the Division of Infectious Diseases is:

  • To excel in clinical care, education, and research
  • To conduct and publish basic and clinical research on infectious diseases in children
  • To serve as a national resource for pediatric transplant infectious diseases
  • To recruit and train outstanding pediatric infectious disease fellows

Overview

The Division of Infectious Diseases provides consultation in the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases for inpatient and outpatient children. The division consists of academically and clinically renowned faculty who contribute in many areas, including basic and clinical research, antimicrobial and vaccine development, microbial pathogenesis, outcomes research in clinical infectious diseases, hospital infection control and epidemiology, and transplant infectious disease. The division oversees an Antibiotic Stewardship Program, working with pharmacists to streamline and optimize antimicrobial use at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. The goals of the program are to ensure that patients receive cost-efficient antimicrobials with the lowest risk of side effects and decreased risk for antimicrobial resistance. The division also supervises the Children’s Hospital Infection Prevention Program, which works to develop guidelines to prevent hospital-acquired infections and manage potential outbreaks. The division conducts both practice-based and hospital-based clinical studies of infectious diseases, including: surveillance of acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infections; new vaccines and antimicrobials; Streptococcus pneumoniae, cytomegalovirus (CMV), influenza, and other respiratory viral infections; epidemiology and clinical features of Lyme disease; and prophylaxis and treatment of infections in transplant patients. The division has several active basic researchers focused on microbial attachment and cell entry, immunity, and pathogenesis; lung immunobiology and inflammation; and vaccine development. Pathogens studied by investigators in the division include adenovirus, Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), human metapneumovirus (MPV), influenza virus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, reovirus, and rhinovirus.

    Clinical Activities

    The Division of Infectious Diseases serves the pediatric population of Pittsburgh and the surrounding regions by providing consultation and treatment for children with rare, complicated, and difficult-to-treat infections. The Pediatric HIV Clinic provides ongoing care to HIV-infected children in Western Pennsylvania and the tristate region as well as expert pre- and postnatal consultative services for HIV-infected pregnant women and their newborns.

    In addition to treating children with complex infections, the Division of Infectious Diseases is a vital resource for health care providers and the public, both locally and nationally. Locally, the Infectious Diseases Division is a collaborative partner with Pittsburgh Public Schools in the area of influenza vaccination and with the Allegheny County Health Department on matters of communicable infectious diseases in the pediatric population of the Pittsburgh area, especially HIV and tuberculosis (TB). Faculty members routinely provide educational outreach to community healthcare providers in the tristate region, such as the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh, and educate the public about community-acquired and emerging pediatric infectious diseases through frequent interviews with local news channels, such as KDKA-TV and radio during Middle East respiratory syndrome virus, otherwise known as MERS. Nationally, the Infectious Diseases faculty serves on committees that establish guidelines for institutions, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Organ Procurement Transplant Network (OPTN)/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the American Society for Transplantation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, and the Society for Pediatric Research. Faculty gives invited talks at numerous meetings of medical and scientific societies, such as the American Association of Pediatrics, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Transplant Congress, and the Society for Pediatric Research.