Madagascar: start of the BIRDY 2 project

The second phase of a study on newborn infections and their resistance to antibiotics has been launched.

The BIRDY 1 project initiated by the Institut Pasteur in Paris in 2012 aimed to assess early childhood infections in low-income countries, particularly Madagascar, Senegal and Cambodia.

It was intended to describe these infections, particularly those that were resistant to antibiotics, as well as their medical and economic consequences. In Madagascar, the incidence of neonatal infections was estimated at 17.7‰ of live births (95% confidence interval: 10.8 to 28.9) and the majority of these infections (75%) occurred during the first week of life.

It was also noted that 70% of the pathogens found were resistant to at least one of the two drugs currently recommended by the World Health Organization to treat these infections (ampicillin or gentamicin).

Thanks to the confidence of the International Cooperation of Monaco, a new project to continue the study on neonatal infections and antibiotic resistance of bacterial infections, and to address the determinants of prematurity, has been funded and has just started with the inclusion of the first mothers.

A cohort of 600 mother-child couples will be set up in the same study areas as those of BIRDY 1 (Antananarivo and Moramanga) in order to capitalize on the logistics and relationships already developed, tested and validated. Mothers will be recruited as early as the fourth month of pregnancy in order to specify the number of weeks of amenorrhoea by ultrasound and thus better calculate the end of pregnancy and assess prematurity.

Active and close follow-up of newborns will then be done during their first 3 months of life, with follow-up at 6, 9 and 12 months of life to monitor their health status. Local partners will be the obstetrics and paediatric services of hospitals or clinics, health centres and community relays in these areas.

The Experimental Bacteriology Unit and the Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit of the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar as well as the B2PhI Unit and the International Directorate of the Institut Pasteur Paris will coordinate the project.

This article was first published by the Institut Pasteur de Madagascar and translated in English by Afriscitech.


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