Nov, 2020

Tools for Healthcare Workers to measure Health Research Capacity Development at an Individual Level



Author: Bilardi D, Rapa E, Bernays S, & Lang T

Published in: European Academy of Pediatric Societies


Background: Despite health research capacity development (HRCD) in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) being recognised as a critical element to overcoming global health challenges, insufficient actions have been taken to tackle major barriers to HRCD. A key barrier in supporting HRCD is the lack of empirical measurement of competencies to assess skills and identify gaps in research activities. An effective tool to measure HRCD would help drive more capable teams to undertake more locally-led research.

Aims: Primary aim: Systematically search the existing literature to investigate the nature, the scope and the extensiveness of existing tools created to measure HRCD at personal level in healthcare workers (HCW) working in LMICs. Secondary aims: identify a tool using a global evidence- based competency framework suitable for a comparable, standardised and consistent analyses of long term research competency acquisition in HCW in LMICs.

Methodology: Eleven databases were searched from inception to 16 January 2020. The first 10 pages of results from Google Scholar were also considered. The search was limited to English language publications. Two authors independently screened and reviewed studies using Covidence, extracted data and performed quality assessments using the extraction log validated against the CASP qualitative checklist. The content method was used to define a meta-narrative analysis.


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Nov, 2020

International Workshop on HIV Paediatrics 2020: Virtual

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This workshop will be focused on the importance of research in paediatric, adolescent, and maternal HIV infections. This type of research is critical to achieving an AIDS-free generation. Unfortunately, children are substantially less likely than adults to be diagnosed, engaged in care, and to access life-saving ART.

The HIV Paediatrics Workshop is the only meeting entirely devoted to research in the prevention and treatment of HIV infections in infants, children, and adolescents, making it the premier forum for the world’s leading researchers.

Find more information here.

Register here.


Feb, 2020

ISF/ESCMID Sepsis Award 2020

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Aislinn Cook, a research fellow at St. George’s University of London in the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group, is the winner of the ISF/ESCMID Sepsis Award 2020! The International Sepsis Forum (ISF) is a non-profit public American charity with the mission to improve outcomes for patients with sepsis. Aislinn was awarded this prize for her ECCMID2020 abstract on the NeoAMR Global Neonatal Sepsis Observational Study (NeoOBS). NeoOBS was launched in July 2018 by the Global Antibiotic R&D Partnership in collaboration with Penta, St George’s University of London, University of Antwerp, MRC-Clinical trials Unit at University College London and 19 hospitals mainly in resource limited settings. The objective of the study is to assess mortality rates of hospitalised infants being treated with significant sepsis, as well as describing clinical presentation and recovery, sepsis management and microbiological epidemiology. This global multi-centre prospective study will complete recruitment at the end of this month. Data collected will be used to inform the design of future antibiotic treatment trials for neonatal sepsis.

Great work Aislinn!



Nov, 2019

European Antibiotic Awareness Day

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Today, 18th of November, is European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EADD), that marks the start of the World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW). WAAW aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance, as well as  encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance. The latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control highlights that across the European Union, the number of patients infected by resistant bacteria is increasing. Emphasising the major threat antibiotic resistance continues to pose to public health. Infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria can be life-threatening, especially for those most vulnerable in society, such as children and especially newborns. However, until recently, the increasing trend in drug-resistant infections in infants and children has gone relatively unrecognized. In the last few years Penta has been involved in several European and global initiatives aimed at better characterising the use of antibiotics in children and infants, understanding the scale of resistance and investigating the best treatment regimens. At Penta, we are continuing to actively expand our activities in this important area and accelerate the development of treatments for infants and children. #KeepAntibioticsWorking #WakeUpToAMR


Nov, 2019

Penta’s Davide Bilardi wins award for outstanding research work


The Graduate Studies Committee of the Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) at the University of Oxford (UK) assigns award prizes each year to current or recently graduated students of NDM supervisors. Prizes are awarded on the basis of student’s publication records, the impact and novelty of their research, and the impact of their research within and outside the department.

Davide Bilardi, Penta Project Manager and DPhil (PHD) student of NDM, has been awarded the “Outstanding work outside of degree” prize due to his ability to combine his academic career with his achievements outside the department and in society.

Congratulations Davide!


Oct, 2019

A look back at European Researchers’ Night

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Bacteria are steadily becoming less and less responsive to currently available antibiotics. Together with members of the public, we explored the hot topic of ‘antimicrobial resistance’ at the European Researchers’ Night on 27 September 2019 in Padua, Italy. Every year in the EU alone, an estimated 33,000 people die as a result of infections that cannot be treated with antimicrobial drugs. Sure enough, the World Health Organization (WHO) has placed the growth of antimicrobial resistance on its list of top five threats to global health in 2019.

A total of 57 people took part in the interactive WHO online survey, and the results proved eye-opening! 21% of respondents believed that antibiotics were effective against viruses or all microorganisms. Meanwhile, only one third of people interviewed knew that the overuse of antibiotics leads to higher levels of resistance in microbes, and not in the human body itself.



It’s clear there is still much work to be done to fill the knowledge gaps on this critical issue. Scientific and academic institutions need to continue strengthening their efforts to make people aware that every one of us is responsible for halting the rise in antimicrobial resistance. Wash your hands properly, always seek for medical advice before taking an antibiotic and remember that drug resistance is becoming a problem not only in people, but also in animals, especially those used for food production, as well as in the environment. Without the proper action today, there will be no cure tomorrow!


Sep, 2019

Let’s talk about antimicrobial resistance: Penta at European Researchers’ Night

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Penta will be at the European Researchers’ Night in Padua on 27 September, 2019. For this edition we have chosen the theme of ‘antimicrobial resistance’ (AMR). With the help of flyers and an educational video we hope to illustrate to the public what ‘AMR’ is, how it develops and spreads, and raise awareness on how much this problem is threatening global health. Our team will point out some simple yet extremely important practices that can help limit the rise of resistance.

Antimicrobials are one of the most important fields of activity for Penta; we are involved in several European and global initiatives aimed at better characterizing the use of antibiotics among children and neonates, the scale of resistance in this population and at investigating optimal treatment regimens for common neonatal infections.

The European Researchers’ Night is an initiative that, since 2005, has brought together researchers and the general public in different European cities on the same date in late summer: the fourth Friday in September. The event is a unique opportunity to invite the public to explore the world of research, to open a space for meeting and starting a dialogue with citizens and to encourage young people to pursue scientific careers. People of all ages will have the opportunity to visit research facilities that are usually not open to the public, use the latest technologies with the guidance of researchers, participate in experiments, competitions, demonstrations and simulations, exchange ideas and, most of all, have fun!


We would like to update you on our recent activities