We are currently researching into

Respiratory Conditions

Acute respiratory illnesses are the leading cause of death in New Zealand children. The umbrella term of respiratory conditions includes bronchiectasis, pneumonia, asthma and cystic fibrosis.

Funding Amount:


In Progress Research

Prevention of wheeze-associated hospitalisation in pre-schoolers

Professor Cameron Grant, University of Auckland Pre-school wheeze is one of the most common causes of hospital admission in young children in New Zealand, Australia and worldwide. Current prevention strategies are ineffective and there is a recognised need for new approaches. OM-85 reduces the inflammation associated with wheezing OM-85 is an orally-administered bacterial lysate that stimulates immune responses associated with…

Studying lung mechanics and breathing effort during assisted ventilation in NICU

Assisted ventilation is very common in neonatal care. Despite a gradual decrease in New Zealand’s birth-rate, there has been an increase in premature birth and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions, resulting in increasing demand for skilled care. NICU babies are one of the most expensive and resource-intensive hospital patient groups in New Zealand. While assisted ventilation is one of…

Prevention of admission for bronchiolitis

Dr Stuart Dalziel Starship Children’s Hospital What is the problem and who does it affect? Bronchiolitis is a viral infection of the lower respiratory tract, and the most common reason for New Zealand children under one year of age being admitted to hospital. Maori and Pasifika children, as well as children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, are overrepresented in these figures.…

Does lack of oxygen help Pseudomonas aeruginosa survive antibiotic treatment in cystic fibrosis?

Professor Iain Lamont University of Otago, Dunedin What is the problem and who does it affect? Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common inherited disease, with around 500 New Zealanders, including many children, living with this condition. CF results in the malfunctioning of many bodily organs including the digestive tract and lungs. Characteristic of CF is the presence of excessive…

HOPE: Hospitalised pneumonia with extended treatment in young children to prevent long-term complications.

Associate Professor Cass Byrnes University of Auckland & Starship Children’s Hospital  What is the problem and who does it affect? Respiratory disease is the third most common cause of death in New Zealand, and in a single year can result in more than 23,000 children hospitalised; pneumonia plays a large role in these figures.  New Zealand has startling rates of pneumonia as…

Can gamification of chest physiotherapy for children with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis improve adherence? 

A/Prof Cass Byrnes University of Auckland & Starship Children’s Hospital  What is the problem and who does it affect? The mainstay treatment for bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis, two conditions primarily affecting the lungs, is chest physiotherapy to remove excess mucus from the airways. This is critical as the mucus causes cough, shortness of breath, restricts activities and creates a fertile ground for infections.…

Vitamin D used to prevent hospital readmissions with acute lower respiratory infections (ALRIs)

Associate Professor Cameron Grant University of Auckland What is the problem and who does it affect? Ten per cent of children under two-years-of-age in NZ will be hospitalised with an acute respiratory infection with 80 per cent of these being lower respiratory tract infections (ALRI); one quarter of which will be re-admitted in the future as a result of recurrent…

A quest to find new antibiotics to fight superbugs

Dr Siouxsie Wiles University of Auckland What is the problem and who does it affect? Since the serendipitous discovery of penicillin in the late 1920s (from the fungus Penicillium) by Alexander Fleming, antibiotics have been a bulwark against invading diseases and infection in patients undergoing routine surgery or chemotherapy. We are now in an era where antibiotics are becoming increasingly…

Recently Completed Research

An oxygenated solution to pneumonia deaths in Pacific children

Associate Professor Stephen Howie University of Auckland What is the problem and who does it affect? Pneumonia is a serious lung infection, and is the leading cause of death in children in the Pacific and worldwide, with around a million lives lost a year. Child deaths are reducing, but not quickly enough. Under five mortality rates in the Oceania/Pacific region…

Can a novel intervention improve quality of life for children with sleep problems?

Professor Mauro Farella University of Otago, Dunedin What is the problem and who does it affect? Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) varies from habitual snoring in moderate cases, to the more severe cases of complete obstruction of the airways. The New Zealand prevalence is surprisingly high, at about four per cent of children. SDB can cause breathlessness and frequent waking during sleep…

Early detection of bacteria in the lungs using a non-invasive breath test?

Dr Amy Scott-Thomas University of Otago, Christchurch What is the problem and who does it affect? Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a common life-threatening genetic disease that is estimated to affect over 400 New Zealanders, where just under half of these are children. Cystic fibrosis can be an extremely debilitating disease with symptoms including failure to gain weight, abnormal bowel movements…

Real stories of kids living with Respiratory Conditions

Amelia and Grace

Twins Grace and Amelia were born prematurely at 27 weeks. They have extreme chronic…

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Our gorgeous little ambassador Chloe has suffered respiratory issues since she was an infant.

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Georgie was diagnosed with asthma and prescribed Singulair tablets, Salbutamol & Flixotide. 

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Iziyah is diagnosed with a rare immune disorder called Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD)

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Jaide was diagnosed with Chronic Asthma at age 2, and type-1 diabetes this year.

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Riley was diagnosed with a multi-cystic kidney, while his mother was 18 weeks pregnant.

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