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Andrew Pollard


Group Head / PI, Consultant Physician, Member of congregation and Supervisor

Clinical trials and epidemiological research: The Oxford Vaccine Group
Vaccines are a kyy component of global public health policy and are particularly important in the defence of the health of young children. Despite the challenges of so doing, new and improved vaccines must be evaluated in the target population of infants and young children prior to licensure. The Oxford Vaccine Group has enrolled over 10,000 children and young people into clinical trials in the Thames Valley since 2001. The clinical trials undertaken in the UK since 2001 include phase IV studies of a meningitis C vaccine and a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; a phase II study of a new pneumococcal vaccine for infants; phase II and III studies of quadrivalent meningococcal vaccines and group B meningococcal vaccines; phase II studies of a preschool vaccine; evaluation of a novel avian and swine influenza vaccines in adults and children; study of different schedules for immunisation of the elderly against pneumococcal infection.

Epidemiological studies have included evaluation of carriage of Haemophilus influenzae type b and Streptococcus pneumonia throughout childhood in the UK and Nepal, surveillance of invasive bacterial infections in children admitted to Patan hospital in Kathmandu. Qualitative research studies have evaluated parental views about immunization, vaccine research and influenza vaccines. The group has a particular interest in the ethics of consent in childhood and is working with the Centre for Ethics on studies evaluating the process of consent in school age children.

Laboratory research programme
The laboratory research programme has used the clinical material provided by the clinical trials group to drive a series of projects evaluating the developing immune system in the infant. The group has specifically focused on the development of B cell memory after immunization with glycoconjugate vaccines and has found correlations between the generation of memory during priming and the persistence of the immune response. A major programme is focussed on the development of a novel serogroup B meningococcal vaccine from preclinical studies through to clinical trials. In a ground-breaking study, the group are developing a human typhoid model for the evaluation of typhoid vaccines. The group also undertakes sero-epidemiological studies and is examining acquisition of natural immunity to various organisms in the UK and Nepal. A bank of DNA is being collected form children enrolled in vaccine trials and several studies of the genetic control of the immune response following immunisation are currently underway.