Work by a research team headed by KIE Director Maggie Little was recently referenced in a paper by Lisa Noguchi, Senior Maternal Health Advisor and Zika response team lead for MCSPGlobal, and Dr. Richard Beigi, Division of Reproductive Infectious Diseases and Obstetric Specialties at Magee Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The paper, “Treatment of infections during pregnancy: Progress and challenges,” discusses emergence of Zika virus as a pathogen with important implications for perinatal outcomes highlights the need to identify safe and effective strategies for prevention and treatment of maternal infections. While substantial progress has been made in this area in recent years, significant regulatory and health systems barriers must still be overcome to identify and deliver evidence-based drug therapies for pregnant women.
The paper reviews progress and outstanding challenges associated with the identification and implementation of new treatment options for maternal infections, and describes several strategies in use to optimize the application of existing evidence.
The Second Wave Initiative, a project launched at Georgetown in 2009 with a Reflective Engagement Grant from the Office of the President, also gets a mention as among the most prominent and effective efforts to advance the cause.
From the paper:
Several efforts aim to increase the inclusion of pregnant women in drug safety research, although change has been slow to occur. The burden on researchers to conduct such research among pregnant women has been described by Gilbert and colleagues, who detailed the ethical, legal, research environment, financial, analytic, and logistical challenges that researchers may face when designing and conducting research among pregnant women (Gilbert et al., 2016). While the United States federal code, Part 45, parts A, B, C, and D, allows for research in pregnant populations (public review and potential revision of current federal regulations is currently ongoing), research in pregnant populations is unfortunately still viewed as particularly challenging, which has inhibited growth in this area. The Second Wave Initiative, launched in 2009, is a collaborative academic effort to advocate for, and help find, ethically and scientifically responsible solutions for increasing the knowledge base for treatment of pregnant women who face medical illness (Initiative). The PHASES (Pregnancy and HIV/AIDS: Seeking Equitable Study) project is a newer collaborative effort across four institutions that aims to develop immediate, ethically acceptable strategies to conducting research on HIV treatment and prevention during pregnancy (PHASES).