St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation launches first grant project

Daniella Susic, pictured with her daughter Abigail, 3, is researching the role on human bacteria in pregnancy.

Daniella Susic, pictured with her daughter Abigail, 3, is researching the role on human bacteria in pregnancy.

Women who are less than 13 weeks pregnant and are having ante-natal care at St George Hospital are invited to participate in a study that examines the role of human bacteria.

The Microbiome Research Centre is undertaking MUMS – Microbiome Understanding in Maternity Study.

MUMS is a patient-based cohort study that will recruit 100 mothers and infants to undergo a comprehensive analysis of their microbiome at key points throughout their pregnancy and for the months following childbirth. 

Already 35 women have committed to the study, which launches its participation call-out in conjunction with Medical Research Week this month.

The research program is one of the first six grants funded by the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation.

Clinical research fellow at St George Hospital, Daniella Susic is part of the team, led by Amanda Henry.

She is undertaking her PhD in the maternal and child health research and will be combining clinical obstetrics and gynaecology with her research.

“While we know that the mother’s microbiome changes throughout pregnancy as yet there has not been a comprehensive study on these changes in the different populations of microbiome” (oral, vaginal and faecal), she said.

“I hope that in time, our findings will assist in the protection of mums from short and long-term risks associated pregnancy like pre-eclampsia and lifelong cardiovascular disease.

“While we are very good at managing these clinical situations and keeping women safe, we still lack understanding of certain elements that may contribute to the driving forces behind why it happens in the first place.”

Dr Susic also hopes to discover more about children’s allergies.

Her daughter suffers from serious anaphylactic allergies to peanuts, eggs and white fish, and she also has severe eczema and asthma.

Women interested in being part of the study can call: 0402 926 867.

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