Childhood skin infections can be extremely serious, and can have a long-lasting and devastating effect. Bacterial infections with Staphylococcus and group A Streptococcus are particularly serious. Infection with group A Streptococcus can lead to acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, which are found at extremely high rates in the Australian Indigenous population.
Scabies is reported to be the underlying cause of up to 70% of bacterial skin infections in remote communities in the Northern Territory.
The worm Strongyloides which initially enters the body through the skin, is also found at high rates in many remote Indigenous communities.
We conduct a coordinated program of community based and laboratory based research aimed at better understanding the pathogenesis of skin infections and improving treatment options and outcomes.