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Faculty & Staff Honors

Johns Hopkins: Researcher Awarded $2.4 Million Grant from NIAID to Study Cryptosporidiosis Household Transmission in Bangladesh

Dr. Poonum Korpe, an assistant scientist in the department of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has received a $2.4 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). She is teaming with Dr. Priya Duggal, an associate professor also in the department of epidemiology, to explore household transmission of cryptosporidiosis in urban Bangladesh to determine risk factors for person-to-person transmission.

Cryptosporidiosis, a parasitic diarrheal disease, is a leading contributor to child morbidity and mortality worldwide, responsible for over 200,000 deaths in children under two, and morbidity in over seven million children. Their study will establish whether person-to-person spread is an important mode of transmitting Cryptosporidium and whether certain species and subspecies of the parasite are more easily spread.

Currently there are limited treatment options and no vaccine for use in young children. A prior study in Bangladesh demonstrated that almost 80 percent of children in an urban cohort were infected with Cryptosporidium prior to their second birthday, and that infection even in the absence of diarrhea was significantly associated with long-term growth faltering

The investigators observed that in households with one infected child there was a 30 percent secondary attack rate of cryptosporidiosis in other family members, suggesting a role for person-to-person transmission.

Dr. Korpe’s research interests are in intestinal infections and malnutrition in children living in resource-limited environments, with a focus on cryptosporidiosis.

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