Chronic suppuratives lung disease (CSLD) is a debilitating respiratory illness unacceptably common in our Indigenous children. Persistent wet cough, frequent lung infections, lethargy and the general poor health associated with CSLD impact on all aspects of their lives, from education and quality of life to life expectancy.  Children with CSLD are at increased risk of developing permanent lung damage, a condition known as bronchiectasis.  Although more commonly associated with older Australians, each year bronchiectasis is diagnosed in an ever increasing number of Indigenous children before their third birthday.

Our current studies include:

  1. Characterising the systemic adaptive and innate immune responses to respiratory pathogens
  2. Investigating the role of airway macrophages in persistent neutrophilic inflammation
  3. Investigating the effect of the Pnemococcal H. influenzae protein D vaccine on immune responses to H. influenza.

Our research has found:

  • We have identified eosinophilia in the airways of Indigenous children with CSLD and bronchiectasis which has lead to changes in clinical management.
  • We have identified a dysfunctional cell mediated immune response to a common respiratory bacteria, non-typeable Haemophilis influenzae, in children with CSLD

Main publications:

Lead investigator
Dr Susan Pizzutto
Chief investigator
Professor Anne Chang
Project period