Thrasher Research Fund - Medical research grants to improve the lives of children

Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Optimal Antibiotic Dosing for Pediatric Bacterial Meningitis

Porter Hunt, PhD


BACKGROUND: Bacterial meningitis can be cured if sufficient antibiotic rapidly reaches the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Yet, the extent to which most drugs reach the CSF of children is unknown because serial lumbar punctures to collect CSF are invasive and rarely advisable. GAP: Vancomycin (VAN) and ceftriaxone (CTX) are commonly used to treat meningitis, but CSF exposure and optimal dosing are currently unknown. Incorrect dosing may result in dangerous toxicities, resistant pathogens, and treatment failure. HYPOTHESIS: I hypothesize that physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models and rich pharmacokinetic data from the CSF of children with external ventricular drains (EVDs) will enable optimized VAN and CTX dosing for children with bacterial meningitis. METHODS: I will conduct a single-center, observational CSF PK study in children with EVDs who are receiving VAN or CTX per standard of care. I will use data from this study to parameterize CSF compartments of PBPK models to predict VAN and CTX exposure in CSF and to optimize antibiotic dosing. RESULTS: Pending. IMPACT: This study will provide optimal, model-informed VAN and CTX dosing to enable best outcomes for children with bacterial meningitis. Furthermore, the research platform created by this study will facilitate optimal dosing strategies for additional central nervous system drugs in children.


Supervising Institution:
University of Utah

Kevin Watt

Project Location:

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