Rangaraj Selvarangan, PhD
Director, Clinical Microbiology & Virology Laboratories; Director, Research, Laboratory Medicine; Professor of Pathology, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine; Clinical Professor of Pathology, University of Kansas School of MedicineFull Biography
Jennifer E. Schuster, MD
Director, Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine; Education Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Kansas School of MedicineFull Biography
The Kansas City-New Vaccine Surveillance Network (KC-NVSN) team led by Rangaraj Selvarangan, PhD, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Jennifer Schuster, MD, Infectious Diseases was awarded a five-year, $7.25 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2021-2026.
Dr. Selvarangan has been the principal investigator of the KC-NVSN team since 2009. Christopher Harrison, MD, has served as co-Principal Investigator of the KC-NVSN program from 2011-2021. For this new funding period, Jennifer Schuster, MD, will serve as co-Principal Investigator. Co-Investigators Mary Moffat, MD, and Kirsten Weltmer, MD, lead enrollment in Emergency Department (ED) and Primary Care Clinic (PCC) respectively. Co-Investigator Gina Weddle, DNP, reviews inpatient enrollment. Brian Lee, PhD, provides statistical support and Dithi Banerjee, PhD, provides laboratory support.
The KC-NVSN program has been performing population-based, laboratory-confirmed, active surveillance of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) illness and acute respiratory illness (ARI) in children seeking care at Children’s Mercy-Kansas City. In the new funding period, the KC-NVSN team will conduct year-round AGE and ARI surveillance of children from the six county KC metropolitan area (Jackson, Clay, and Platte counties in Missouri and Leavenworth, Wyandotte, and Johnson counties in Kansas) seen in CM’s inpatient (IP), ED, and PCC settings.
Additionally, samples collected from enrolled children will be tested prospectively to identify viruses that cause vomiting, diarrhea, or respiratory illnesses, e.g., rotavirus, norovirus, influenza, RSV and SARS-CoV-2 etc. Vaccine records are obtained to assess vaccine effectiveness against circulating viruses.
“The inpatient and outpatient surveillance data generated from this network will provide timely and highly useful data to inform public health measures and pediatric vaccine-related policies aimed at controlling AGE, ARI, and viruses that cause vomiting, diarrhea, or respiratory illness in children,” Dr. Selvarangan wrote. “Additionally, the data will provide insights on how to improve vaccine uptake and provide timely and useful data for other public health interventions against the viruses that cause these illnesses.”