Angela J. P. Campbell, MD, MPH: Assistant Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. My research focuses on factors that influence the acquisition of respiratory virus infection and disease progression among immunocompromised children and adults, with the goal to facilitate new diagnostic, preventive, and treatment strategies for respiratory virus infections.
I am currently focused on the study of parainfluenza viruses (PIVs), ubiquitous respiratory viruses that are second only to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as important viral causes of lower respiratory infection in children and immunocompromised patients. Unlike RSV, there are no specific antiviral therapies to prevent or treat PIVs. These viruses are important sources of morbidity and mortality in adult and pediatric immunocompromised patients, especially hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients.
Among HCT recipients, PIVs are the most common serious respiratory viruses, with high rates of pneumonia and increased risk of mortality even with upper respiratory tract disease alone. The spectrum of PIV infection can range from asymptomatic infection to pneumonia and death in the HCT population. Prolonged viral shedding, increased risk of long-term airflow obstruction, and high rates of nosocomial transmission accompany PIV infection in HCT recipients.
My current studies will be important to document rates of asymptomatic PIV infection in a large cohort of HCT recipients, to determine if asymptomatic infection leads to progression of respiratory disease, to clearly define the presence of persistent subclinical shedding, and to analyze whether humoral immunity is protective against symptomatic infection or disease progression. I am also interested in developing a method by which patients can collect their own respiratory samples for respiratory virus testing, and I am currently the principal investigator for a study of self-collected swabs from patients with cystic fibrosis.