Professor Amanda Jane Leach
Principal research fellow; Leader of the Ear Health Research Program, Child Health Division
Master of Agricultural Science; PhD (Medicine).
Approved level of HDR supervision at Charles Darwin University:
Principal Supervisor for PhD
Professor Amanda Leach is leader of the Ear Health Research Program, Child Health Division. In 2011 she won a Senior Research Fellowship which was awarded the Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship for top ranking female applicant in the clinical category.
Professor Leach has 78 career publications; her 1994 PhD publication (cited by 324) described for the first time that Indigenous infants acquire nasopharyngeal bacterial pathogens within weeks of life and that acquisition predicted onset of otitis media (OM).
Prof Leach leads a NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Ear and Hearing Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, CRE_ICHEAR. She is also NHMRC lead investigator for two vaccine trials (PREVIX), a study of school readiness (VOICES), and is co-investigator of a CSOM treatment trial (IHEARBETA) and two trials for treatment of OM in urban Aboriginal children (WATCH and INFLATE).
Prof Leach is leading the update the 2010 OM Guidelines including an OM app using the international GRADE approach.
Prof Leach is Joint Chair with A/Professor Kelvin Kong, for the Hearing for Learning Initiative – a funding partnership between The Balnaves Foundation, the Northern Territory Government, and the Australian Government. The goal is to support communities through training and employment, to establish local, sustainable, clinical and education expertise and eliminate the social and educational disadvantage caused by ear disease and hearing loss.
- VOICES - Vaccines to prevent Otitis media In Children Entering School
- Centre for Research Excellence in Indigenous Children’s Healthy Ears (ICHEAR)
- Immunogenicity, carriage and otitis media outcomes of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines PHiD-CV and 13PCV in sequence or alone in high-risk Indigenous infants: a randomised controlled trial (PREV-IX_COMBO)
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) schedules for the Northern Territory (NT): randomised controlled trial of booster vaccines to broaden and strengthen protection from invasive and mucosal infections (Study name: PREV-IX_BOOST)
- Developing more accurate measures of immune response and vaccine efficacy of standard and novel schedules of two new pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (Prevenar13 or Synflorix) in Indigenous infants
- Monitoring Prevenar13 impact on otitis media and respiratory pathogen carriage, with particular focus on pneumococcal diversity, in Australian Indigenous children post-PCV13 introduction to the NIP
- Randomised controlled trial of watchful waiting versus antimicrobial treatment waiting for acute otitis media without perforation in low risk Aboriginal children.
- Hare, K.M., Marsh, R.L., Binks, M.J., Grimwood, K., Pizzutto, S.J., Leach, A.J., Chang, A.B. & Smith-Vaughan, H.C. (2013). Quantitative PCR confirms culture as the gold standard for detection of lower airway infection by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae in Australian Indigenous children with bronchiectasis. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 92(3), 270-272.
- Marsh, R.L., Binks, M.J., Beissbarth, J., Christensen, P., Morris, P.S., Leach, A.J. & Smith-Vaughan, H.C. (2012). Quantitative PCR of ear discharge from Indigenous Australian children with acute otitis media with perforation supports a role for Alloiococcus otitidis as a secondary pathogen. BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders, 12, 11.
- Binks, M.J., Temple, B., Kirkham, L.A., Wiertsema, S.P., Dunne, E.M., Richmond, P.C., Marsh, R.L., Leach, A.J. & Smith-Vaughan, H.C. (2012). Molecular surveillance of true nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae: an evaluation of PCR screening assays. PLoS One, 7(3), e34083.
- McAllister, L.J., Ogunniyi, A.D., Stroeher, U.H., Leach, A.J. & Paton, J.C. (2011). Contribution of serotype and genetic background to virulence of serotype 3 and serogroup 11 pneumococcal isolates. Infection and Immunity, 79(12), 4839-4849.
- Hare, K.M., Smith-Vaughan, H.C. & Leach, A.J. (2011). Viability of respiratory pathogens cultured from nasopharyngeal swabs stored for up to 12 years at -70°C in skim milk tryptone glucose glycerol broth. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 86(3), 364-367.
- Binks, M.J., Cheng, A.C., Smith-Vaughan, H., Sloots, T., Nissen, M., Whiley, D., McDonnell, J. & Leach, A.J. (2011). Viral-bacterial co-infection in Australian Indigenous children with acute otitis media. BMC Infectious Diseases, 11, 161.
- Jacoby, P., Carville, K.S., Hall, G., Riley, T.V., Bowman, J., Leach, A.J., Lehmann, D. & the Kalgoorlie Otitis Media Research Project Team. (2011). Crowding and other strong predictors of upper respiratory tract carriage of otitis media-related bacteria in Australian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 30(6), 480-485.
- Harvey, R.M., Stroeher, U.H., Ogunniyi, A.D., Smith-Vaughan, H.C., Leach, A.J. & Paton, J.C. (2011). A variable region within the genome of Streptococcus pneumoniae contributes to strain-strain variation in virulence. PLoS One, 6(5), e19650.
- Jacups, S.P., Morris, P.S. & Leach, A.J. (2011). Haemophilus influenzae type b carriage in Indigenous children and children attending childcare centers in the Northern Territory, Australia, spanning pre- and post-vaccine eras. Vaccine, 29(16), 3083-3088.
- Slade, G.D., Bailie, R.S., Roberts-Thomson, K., Leach, A.J., Raye, I., Endean, C., Simmons, B. & Morris, P. (2011). Effect of health promotion and fluoride varnish on dental caries among Australian Aboriginal children: results from a community-randomized controlled trial. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 39(1), 29-43.
Click here to view more Amanda Leach publications in PubMed.
The five-year Hearing for Learning program is based on research by scientists at the Menzies School of Health Research and will employ and train community residents to help spot and treat ear disease and hearing problems.
Meanwhile, in the Northern Territory, dozens of project officers in 20 communities will complement the work of visiting ear specialists under a $7.9m partnership between the commonwealth, the Northern Territory government and the Balnaves Foundation, supported by the Menzies School of Health Research.
RACGP report on the Hearing for Learning Initiative.
Announced in August, Hearing for Learning is a five year program of the NT Government, founded on research by scientists at the Darwin-based Menzies School of Health Research.
Daily Mail | How 90 PER CENT of Aboriginal children are born with ear disease and most will end up half-deaf with brain development problems
A shocking 90 per cent of Aboriginal children in remote Northern Territory communities under three years old are born with an ear disease that can lead to significant development problems.
Up to nine in every 10 Aboriginal children in some remote Northern Territory communities have a hearing impairment, but a new project aims to tackle that by training locals and reducing fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) specialists.
Coverage of the Hearing for Learning Initiative Launch with the Northern Territory Government and the Balnaves Foundation on ABC TV News.
A public private partnership between the Northern Territory Government, Australian Government and the Balnaves Foundation is addressing chronic hearing problems in Territory children.
5th Australian Otitis media Conference underway in Darwin.
RN Life Matters - In many Indigenous communities, middle ear infections are rife, leading to hearing problems and a life of disadvantage.
Otitis Media - a clinical trial where Indigenous infants will receive an extra dose of pneumococcal vaccine to try and cut down the rates of incidence.
Menzies School of Health researchers are hoping to reduce rates of a chronic ear disease called Otis Media, in remote indigenous communities. (Image source: creative commons)
The Menzies School of Health Research is conducting a clinical trial in remote communities in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and hope the results will change the public health approach and give more help to families.
In a world first, Northern Territory researchers are trialling a new treatment to heal an ear disease plaguing Indigenous communities and causing lifelong disadvantage.
Innovation and transformation are at the heart of the Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) projects which have secured funding in the highly competitive NHMRC grant round.
Bulging ear drums and hearing loss: Aboriginal kids have the highest otitis media rates in the world
This article is the final in our three-part series on blinding, deafening and sometimes deadly conditions in Indigenous Australian children that have little to no impact on their non-Indigenous counterparts.
LEADING ear health experts at Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) are calling for more investment in the prevention and treatment of ear disease and hearing loss among Indigenous children.
What is the relationship between lifelong hearing loss and Indigenous incarceration? A powerful story to mark Hearing Awareness Week
What profound impact could be had on high rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration by ensuring better hearing for children and adults? It’s an important question raised in this moving post below, to mark Hearing Awareness Week, from Sam Harkus, Principal Audiologist, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Services.
In recognition of Hearing Awareness Week (August 21-27), leading ear health experts at Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) are calling for more investment in the prevention and treatment of ear disease and hearing loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
A leading ear and hearing health collaborative research program led by Menzies was today declared a ‘Centre of Research Excellence (CRE)’ and awarded funding of $2.5 million over five years.
Aboriginal health worker Joe Daby has seen the worst when it comes to ear health in Territory communities.
An opportunity to hear from leading Indigenous health experts about inventive new ways they are closing the gap is set to draw some of the Territory’s most influential and iconic identities for a formal charity breakfast.
Two researchers from Menzies School of Health Research were recognised for their contribution to the science community at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Gala Dinner held at Parliament House in Canberra last night.