Current Environment:

The Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital cares for children and adolescents with a variety of infections.

In addition to treating children, we also are dedicated to researching better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent infectious diseases. Researchers at Boston Children’s:

  • believe they’ve found a way to boost immunity in infants, possibly making infections pneumococcus, pertussis, HIV, and rotavirus much less of a threat. The ability to immunize babies at birth would also provide global health benefits, since birth may be a child’s only contact with a health care system in developing countries.
  • recently discovered a new, previously unknown immunity tool that may aid the development of a cheaper, more effective pneumococcal vaccine
  • have discovered a safer way to treat “boy in a bubble” syndrome
  • are looking for was to prevent mother-to-child transmission of viruses, specifically those transmitted via breastfeeding

New program lets you track disease outbreaks

The Boston Children's Hospital Informatics Program created HealthMap, an online resource and smart phone app that helps track the spread of contagious diseases in real time, including chickenpox.

“It’s a disease-mining system that uses the internet to look for outbreaks going on around the world, bringing all this information together in one view,” explains John Brownstein, PhD, co-founder of HealthMap and an assistant professor at the Informatics Program (CHIP) at Boston Children’s Hospital. “We hope individuals will find the new app to be a useful source of outbreak information — locally, nationally, and globally.”

A new way to treat sepsis

Researchers have come up with a first line of defense against sepsis — using magnetism to quickly pull infected agents out of the blood.