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Cymraeg

Cardiff scientists study acute infection in end-stage kidney disease patients

13 November 2008

A new research study underway at Cardiff University could see a decrease in the rates of treatment failure among patients with end-stage kidney disease.

Experts in the Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Interdisciplinary Research Group at the School of Medicine have secured more than £230,000 ($375,000) from the ‘Renal Discoveries - The Baxter Extramural Grant’ program, to investigate the potential to safeguard susceptible patients against serious problems caused by bacterial infections.

Each year Baxter Healthcare Corporation awards the Baxter Extramural Grant for innovation, exploration and application of research to advance the knowledge of renal conditions and its treatment. With only four grants awarded world-wide each year, Cardiff University is the sole recipient of the funding for the Europe/Middle East/Africa and Russia region.

Bacterial infection among patients with end-stage kidney disease is one of the major reasons for treatment failure and mortality, particularly among patients receiving peritoneal dialysis, the form of dialysis that cleans the blood inside the body through the peritoneum.

Now, thanks to the three year funding, the multidisciplinary team sponsored by Professor of Medicine John Williams, at Cardiff University will begin studying the consequence of infection by bacteria in order to understand, and in the future better regulate, a patient’s immune response to infections. The team brings together clinicians and researchers at the Peritoneal Dialysis Unit, the Institute of Nephrology, and the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology.

Dr Matthias Eberl, principal investigator at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology, said: "Although peritoneal dialysis has a number of advantages such as independence from hospital and improved quality of life, infections still pose major risks to the patient. As treatment failure in these patients correlates directly with the severity of the inflammatory response and antibiotic resistance is becoming a significant problem, we need to understand why some patients are more prone to treatment failure than others."

The Baxter grant also includes a three-year visiting fellowship for a peritoneal dialysis specialist from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan. Dr Chan-Yu Lin will conduct his PhD studies at Cardiff University on peritoneal dialysis-related infections and receive training in early treatment of inflammation, microbiological diagnosis, and analysis of patient samples in the laboratory.

Dr Eberl said: "We are studying the immune response in peritoneal dialysis patients during episodes of bacterial peritonitis to improve current ways of infection prevention and therapy. However, the scope of our work is much wider in the context of infectious and inflammatory disease in other organs and in sepsis."

Earlier this year Dr Eberl’s team together with Professor Nicholas Topley at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology were awarded a Welsh Assembly Government /Medical Research Council Health Research Partnership Award from the Wales Office of Research and Development for their work on peritoneal dialysis-related infection.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

About the Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Interdisciplinary Research Group

The Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Interdisciplinary Research Group (I3-IRG) conducts internationally recognized research in the areas of infection, immunity and inflammation. The long-term objective of this research is to develop or redefine treatment strategies for use in inflammatory disorders, infectious diseases and cancer.

About 2008 RENAL DISCOVERIES, The Baxter Extramural Grant Program

The objective of RENAL DISCOVERIES, The Baxter Extramural Grant Program is to stimulate and support research in the fields of dialytic therapies, chronic kidney disease, and co-morbidities associated with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), with the goal of improving the quality of life and reducing mortality of patients with kidney disease. The 2008 RENAL DISCOVERIES, EGP supports patient-oriented research in academic nephrology training centers around the world. Grants are awarded for Patient-Oriented Research in selected centers by combining the merits of an operating grant with those of a fellowship-training grant at the funded institution. Patient-oriented research is defined as any research study that has clear clinical relevance. Clinical relevance relates to the likelihood that the research will lead to new knowledge or advances that could impact clinical practice.

Cardiff University’s School of Medicine

Cardiff University’s School of Medicine is a significant contributor to healthcare in Wales, a major provider of professional staff for the National Health Service and an international centre of excellence for research delivering substantial health benefits locally and internationally. The School is an international leader in basic and clinically applied research activities and scored highly in the most recent Government Research Assessment Exercise. School of Medicine researchers annually win tens of millions of pounds in research awards to work with Government, the healthcare industries and the charitable sector on the most pressing issues of human health.

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. 2008 marks the 125th anniversary of Cardiff University having been founded by Royal Charter in 1883. Today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk

Further information:

For more information, please contact:

Dr Matthias Eberl, principal investigator

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Immunology

Cardiff School of Medicine

Cardiff University

T: 02920 687 011

E: eberlm@cardiff.ac.uk

For more media information:

Lowri Jones

Public Relations and Communications

Cardiff University

T: 02920 874 499

E: joneslc3@cardiff.ac.uk