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Aiming to find out which children with cough are most likely to go on to develop pneumonia, and, how common whooping cough is in children presenting with a persistent cough.

Children who have a cough are often prescribed antibiotics when their GP thinks they may have a Lower Respiratory Tract Infection (LRTI). GPs are currently not easily able to identify which children with cough are most likely to develop a more serious chest infection such as pneumonia, and which children are most likely to benefit from antibiotics.

We are running two studies which aim to find the clinical features that best predict which children visiting their GP with a cough will go on to develop complications:

  • 3C – Cough Complications Cohort Study. In collaboration with the University of Southampton this study will recruit 30,000 adults and children presenting to their GPs from across the UK
  • TARGET. In collaboration with the University of Bristol, this study is recruiting 8,000 children presenting to their GPs from across the UK

We are also examining whooping cough in children, including the use of a new saliva test to diagnose whooping cough in children and young people:

  • CAPS – Children and Persistent Cough Study. This study will estimate the prevalence of whooping cough and Mycoplasma pneumoniae in children who present in primary care with a persistent cough.  We are interested in the potential impact of recent changes in UK immunisation policy on the prevalence of these infections.  We have been recruiting children from general practices in Thames Valley since November 2010 and hope to recruit 300 children by December 2012.