Thanks to funding from Telethon, Telethon Kids Researchers are capturing babies’ breath in a bid to prevent long-term lung health complications in babies born prematurely.
Chronic lung disease is the main complications for babies born preterm – leading to breathing problems, constant infections, problems with exercise and even premature aging.
Researchers have captured the breath of preterm babies as well as healthy babies aged 12-18 months old over a period of 3 years. They developed a non-evasive way to capture the baby’s exhaled breath condensate – even in very preterm babies where it was previously not thought possible to capture enough vapour from their little lungs for analysis.
After analysing the samples in the lab, they have been able to pin point symptoms like inflammation and oxidative stress – all indicators for lung disease in these preterm babies – as well determine the disease severity. This early diagnosis tool is paving way for better monitoring, earlier interventions and ultimately better outcomes for preterm babies.
Babies worldwide could have access to life-saving influenza vaccinations from just eight weeks of age thanks to researchers at Telethon Kids Institute and the generous support of the Telethon community.
The first step in the Institute’s bold influenza research program, the FluBub Study launched this week will pave the way for a greater ambition – to develop a single flu injection that would cover against all strains of the disease, for life.
Associate Professor Chris Blyth, Co-Director of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, based at Telethon Kids Institute, says data from this first study will play an essential role in helping to understand how the immune system responds to its first exposure to flu proteins, either through a vaccine or the infection.
“Young babies are the greatest risk of flu and its complications because the first exposure to the virus is often the most severe, striking when the immune system is still developing strength,” say A/Prof Blyth.
“While we know a flu vaccine in pregnancy passes protection from the mother to her newborn, this starts to wain from as early as two months of age, leaving babies at risk of flu and its complications when they are most vulnerable.
“The FluBub Study will investigate giving flu vaccine at two months of age instead of the current six months as per National Immunisation Program, allowing us to establish how immunological protection is generated and the potential advantages of early-life vaccination.
“From there, we will apply cutting-edge systems vaccinology approaches that will provide us with the key to truly unlock the secrets of flu immunity and inform future vaccine development,” says A/Prof Blyth.
The study is being guided by world-renowned vaccinology expert Professor Tobias Kollmann, who led the charge for Telethon Kids Institute to become the southern hemisphere’s only hub for the Human Vaccines Project – decoding the human immune system to enable people to live healthier, longer lives.
This ground-breaking research was made possible thanks to attendees at the 2019 Telethon Lexus Ball, who donated to support the Institute’s influenza research program after being inspired by the heart-breaking story shared by the DeLuis family.
Their two-year-old daughter Lucy sadly lost her life 12 months ago – just five days after being diagnosed with influenza – and her family are now dedicated to supporting research that will develop more effective weapons against the disease.
Researchers are looking for 150 WA mums and their babies to take part in the FluBub Study, with mothers aged 25 to 35 years invited to participate.
Visit the FluBub Study page on the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Disease website for more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
For over 50 years Telethon has been successful due to strength and unity of the WA community.
New, when times are tough for all West Australians, our kids have a special message for you.
Click on Fat Cat to check out some simple tips for you and your kids to help prevent the spread of viruses.
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Callum was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer at the age of 7 months. Around 6 months old, Callum’s behaviour started to change, he was always crying and wanting to be held, and was no longer laughing or happy. He lost the ability to sit up on his own despite the fact he was originally sitting up at 5 months unassisted. On May 6, 2008 Callum was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma Stage 4. The scans of his body showed he was riddled with tumours. His parents we were told he would be lucky to live the week.
Tests were conducted to see whether Callum’s body could handle treatment. Amazingly, his little body was deemed strong enough and 3 days later Callum started chemotherapy. Callum’s treatment continued over the next couple of years and included many more rounds of chemotherapy, biopsies, lumbar punctures, stem cell treatment, radiation, countless x-rays, scans ultrasounds and blood tests, a nasal gastric tubes, a broviac catheter, as well as a 6 week mega therapy treatment, and a major surgery to ‘de-bulk’ the large mass of tumour in his stomach which left him with a giant scar across his abdomen.
He has now been in remission for 9 years, which the family celebrates every year on the 24th July. Callum now has scans every 3-6 months to monitor his health and takes every medical appointment in his stride. Despite his challenges, Callum is a normal everyday kid who loves playing Xbox, riding his bike with his friends, and trying new and different things. He recently picked up his first ‘paid’ job by posting a letter to the neighbour with an offer to walk their dog. Instead he was given the task of feeding their fish!
Callum is an avid dancer – he takes tap and ballet and is in his school dance club. He also loves the story of the Titanic and can randomly quote facts he’s learned through reading and researching it. His favourite foods are chicken kiev and hot chocolate. allum loves the idea of being a fashion designer when he gets older. Callum has already started designing, with rough sketches of clothes, and drawings of his first store which he keeps in a file. He has a business name ready to go for when the time is right.
Callum is very family orientated – he loves hanging with his mum, his siblings, and his Grandparents. He loves taking his dog to the beach with this Dad, when he’s visiting his Dad every Friday night.
Thank you WA!
Since 1968 Western Australians have raised over $349 million through Telethon for the kids of WA.
The money raised has helped make significant advances in treating some of the life threatening diseases that face our children today. Telethon also provides equipment, resources and critical services for children across Western Australia.
The house, built by New Level in the same street as last year’s Telethon home, features fresh modern designs with spacious living areas. Built in Satterley’s The Hales estate, it has two outdoor entertaining areas and sits on a 450 sqm block.
The auction started off slowly, with Mr Baldwin attempting to set the opening bid at $725,000 — the same level of last year’s house sale. But there were no takers, and eventually the opening bid came in at $580,000.
John, the man who would eventually go on to make the winning bid, put his hand up to move the price up to $600,000 where it stalled for a few minutes. Mr Baldwin tried to get the next bid to come in at $620,000, then $610,000 — before accepting a bid of $605,000 from a bidder talking on the phone.
John upped the ante to $610,000 before a vendor’s bid came in to push the price up to $650,000. Finally, John made the winning bid of a $655,000 — a price Mr Baldwin said was such a steal he “should have been arrested for theft”.
Eva was born in Feb 2011 with Spina Bifida that affects her mobility. Eva is unable to walk, has a controlled seizure disorder, and has had three shunt revisions. Recently Eva’s condition became a little more complex when she had a serious seizure in November which was unexpected.
Although Eva has more bad days then good but never lets it hold her back. She is bubbly and her parents support Eva to show her there are no boundaries, only just different ways of thinking and doing things.
Eva is a trend setter in wheelchairs and a motivator amongst wheelchair users. Eva has always had a game changing wheel-chair style and design. Eva put purple wheelchairs on the page with her first chair and also invented a wheel design that has inspired adult users to also have cool wheels. Eva revels in performing wheelchair tricks. She particularly loves cheekily pranking unsuspecting victims with her skills, to give them a fright!
Eva love to ride and spend time with horses and participates in a special swim team in Fremantle. Eva dances with the Dance Collective, has very good upper body strength so loves to hit the spider frames and climb in the park.
The beach is one of Eva’s favourite places – she loves to collect shells, look for crabs, and float in the ocean. And while Eva loves the outdoors – the girl also loves to shop.
Eva’s favourite foods are fruit and pasta. Instead of ordering chips or wedges in a restaurant, Eva once ordered a mandarin – which was not on the menu. She got her mandarin though.
Eva’s favourite TV Show is Home and Away!
There’s a lot more going on inside a baby’s brain than we can see.
A baby’s brain is a remarkable little creature, forming more than a million neural connections every second.
This is the fastest a person’s brain will ever develop.
Babies learn through interacting with their parents and the adults in their life. From the moment they are born, talking, singing and playing, is building their brain.
Meaningful moments early and often build young brains.
Bright tomorrows start today.