Infectious Diseases

Members of the Division of Infectious Diseases are active in patient care, medical education, and research. Board certified specialists in this division provide a wide range of consultative and direct care services for all types of infectious diseases. These include meningitis, pneumonias, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, bacterial and viral diarrheas, Kawasaki disease and more.

An inpatient 24-bed unit, is devoted to the care of patients with infectious diseases under the direct supervision of the division attending staff.

The nurses on the infectious diseases unit have experience and training in the care of these patients. An outpatient clinic is held three times per week to follow up on discharged patients from the unit as well as referrals for consultations from the community physicians.

Infectious diseases consultations are seen throughout the hospital and include immunocompromised patients (cancer patients, bone marrow, kidney and heart transplant), surgical patients (orthopaedics, cardiovascular, thoracic and plastic surgery), and patients of other pediatric subspecialties (neonatology, intensive care, cardiology, gastroenterology, allergy/immunology, adolescent medicine etc.).

Division members also participate in the care of HIV-infected children seen at the multidisciplinary HIV clinic. Members of the division work closely with the hospital epidemiology coordinator and assist in infection control policymaking and investigating infection control issues.

The division educational activities include training of infectious diseases fellows, pediatric residents, and medical students. The division has an active and accredited pediatric infectious diseases fellowship training program. Fellows, who are selected on the basis of high academic credentials, join the program for three years and receive clinical and research training and become qualified for board certification. Members of the division are involved in bedside teaching of pediatric residents and medical students who rotate on a regular basis on the infectious diseases unit. Didactic lectures are given to medical students on a regular basis. Division members also participate in a variety of other teaching activities of the pediatric residency program in the form of lectures and conferences. A combined pediatric/medicine infectious diseases conference is held weekly in collaboration with the adult infectious diseases division of the Department of Internal Medicine.

Division members are active in both clinical and basic research. Clinical research includes bacteriology and treatment of otitis media, efficacy and safety trials of antibacterial and antiviral agents; immunogenicity and reactogenicity of new vaccines, and efficacy and pharmacokinetics of anti-HIV agents and Motivational enhancement therapy in HIV-infected youth. The effect of complementary and alternative medicine including massage therapy on the immune system and rate of infections in the premature infant is another area of interest. Basic research is done in collaboration with scientists at Children’s Research Center of Michigan. Areas of interest include neuro-immune mechanisms of central nervous system infections, inflammatory pathways of respiratory syncytial virus infections, and molecular epidemiology of Rotavirus gastrointestinal infection.