Improving pneumonia protection for dialysis patients

Every step is precisely monitored in clinical trials.

© MedizinFoto Köln

The first joint study to be conducted across all twelve clinical trial units at the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) has been initiated. The aim of the study is to improve vaccine protection in dialysis patients. The coordinating Clinical Trial Unit at the University Hospital Cologne has now included the first 15 patients at the Dialysis Center of Kronach. A total of 884 patients across Germany will be included.

Advanced renal diseases are amongst the most frequent chronic diseases in Germany. Affected patients who undergo dialysis have weakened immune systems and an increased susceptibility to infections: pneumococcal pneumonia is one of the most frequent causes of death, even though patients are vaccinated against the disease. To date, it has been unclear as to why the vaccine is less effective in this patient group. The current multicentre observation study DOPPIO (Duration of protection from pneumonia after pneumococcal vaccination in hemodialysis patients) is now investigating immune responses in dialysis patients with the aim of generating improved and individualised vaccination schedules.

In this study, the DZIF’s twelve clinical trial units are collaborating with the registry “Quality in Nephrology (QiN)” of the “Kuratorium für Dialyse und Nierentransplantation e.V.” (KfH). The study patients will be recruited from 30 outpatient KfH practices. The DZIF clinical trial units will coordinate antibody titre analyses and conduct 2-year follow-ups in order to document cases of pneumonia. To this effect, the University Hospital Cologne is collaborating with university hospitals in Bonn, Giessen, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Lübeck, Marburg, Munich (LMU and TU) and Tübingen as well as with the Research Center Borstel and the Hannover Medical School.

“We are pleased about the start of the study and are optimistic about sustainably improving infection prophylaxis for dialysis patients,” explains infectious disease specialist Prof Oliver Cornely, initiator and principal investigator of the study as well as Coordinator of the DZIF Clinical Trial Unit in Cologne. “DOPPIO will highlight the DZIF as an excellent research partner for clinical trials.”

At the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) approximately 500 scientists and doctors from 35 institutions throughout Germany jointly develop new approaches for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. The aim is to translate research results into clinical practice quickly and effectively. With this, the DZIF paves the way for developing new vaccines, diagnostics and drugs against infections. You can find more information at

About the DZIF clinical trial units

At the DZIF, expertise for planning and conducting clinical trials is pooled across twelve clinical trial units. Additionally, the DZIF offers a central platform for conducting clinical trials for newly developed vaccines and drugs. The DZIF Clinical Trial Unit at the University Hospital Cologne supports the individual units and coordinates standardised clinical trial procedures.

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