DIVISION OF IMMUNOLOGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Research

Clinical

Infectious Diseases

Clinical research activities within the division are focused on epidemiology and clinical virology. All physicians participate in antiviral clinical trials conducted by the Collaborative Antiviral Study Group funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Current studies include the following:

  • "A Placebo-Controlled Phase III Evaluation of Suppressive Therapy with Oral Acyclovir Suspension Following Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infections Involving the Central Nervous System" (CASG #103)
  • "A Placebo-Controlled Phase III Evaluation of Suppressive Therapy with Oral Acyclovir Suspension Following Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infections Limited to the Skin, Eye, and Mouth" (CASG #104)
  • "A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Virologic Efficacy Trial of Pleconaril (VP 63843) in the Treatment of Neonates with Enteroviral Sepsis Syndrome" (CASG #106)
  • "Genetics of Infection and its Relationship with Cardiovascular Disease Risk" (Dr. Leach in collaboration with Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research) (R01 HL080149-01A2)

Other active clinical research projects include: "Febrile Syndromes in the Lower Rio Grande Valley: The Role of Dengue, Leptospirosis, and Murine Typhus as Regional Re-Emerging Infections" (Dr. Leach); and "The Epidemiology of Fecally-Orally Transmitted Infections in Health Care Workers along the Texas-Mexico Border" (Dr. Leach)

Research photo


Immunology

Dr. Infante is actively engaged in the implementation of clinical trials for new immunoglobulin (IVIG, SCIG) replacement products. He is working with other division faculty to develop a center for the study of effectiveness and safety of new and existing childhood vaccines. Several industry-sponsored vaccine clinical trials are in the pipeline. For a current list of protocols please call the Children’s Health Advocacy, Research and Training (CHART) Center, 210-704-4430.  

Basic and Translational Research

Allergy/Asthma

Dr. Brooks laboratory has focused on the interaction of environmental agents with inflammatory reactions in respiratory mucosa as it pertains to mechanisms of oxidative stress in allergy and asthma. We have ongoing investigations in two areas 1) the role of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in asthma and 2) the role of oxidative stress and anti-oxidants on the inflammatory response in asthma.

1) A translational component of this work involves the roles of Mycoplasma pneumoniae in the severity of asthma in collaboration with scientists in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Joel Baseman, PhD and Peter Dube, PhD. Our ongoing work in this area involves monitoring patients with asthma and Mycoplasma infection via identification of CARDS Toxin (Community Aquired Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and characterization of the immunological mechanisms (T-cell phenotype) and clinical scores.

2) My lab previously identified non-IgE dependent mechanisms of mast cell activation with pollen from mountain cedar and environmental pollutants, acrolein and SO2, through the generation of reactive oxygen species. We are using animal models of asthma to investigate therapeutic responses to novel strategies targeting the oxidant stress response. Our ongoing studies seek to further define those mechanisms with the goal of developing anti-oxidant therapies for clinical use.