U of T Crest Faculty of Medicine / University of Toronto
Department of Paediatrics
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Infectious Diseases


Dr. Upton Allen - Division Head

The Division of Infectious Diseases provides a Consultation Service to all divisions and departments in the hospital providing evaluation and management advice on infections, infectious diseases, and infection prevention and control. A major area of involvement the immunocompromised host, particularly those with malignancies, transplants and HIV. Outpatient care is mainly focused on tuberculosis, HIV, congenital infections, and follow-up of osteomyelitis.

The division is fully accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as a training program in Paediatric Infectious Diseases and is one of the oldest and largest training programs in Canada. The members of the division are actively involved in teaching at undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels at U of T.

One area of research focuses on HIV, including mother-to-child transmission, antiretroviral toxicities in pregnancy, antiretroviral therapies and the application of viral load and genotype testing to clinical management. Other areas include EBV and CMV infections in transplant patients, etiology of encephalitis, infections in Day Care, care of immigrant pregnant women and rotavirus infections.

History

The Division of Infectious Diseases was established under the leadership of Dr. Ron Gold, who oversaw the creation of a research lab devoted to the study of infectious diseases. Since its inception in 1978, the division's focus has always been evenly divided between research and clinical practice. Most staff members are experienced clinician/researchers, and a basic scientist is usually on board as well. A new Director of Infection Control, was recruited in 1996.

Several new programs have been developed and consolidated over the past five years, including a congenital infections program, an encephalitis registy, and the Family Centered HIV Program, which takes a multidisciplinary approach to the complex field of HIV infection and disease. Most recently, the division has set up a program in migration medicine, whose chief aim is to provide medical advice to immigrants and travellers. The division also plays a leadership role in the study and management of infections in day care settings, including the publication of two textbooks on the subject.

A recent change in the division's structure has been the elimination of the infectious diseases ward in mid-1997. At present, clinical service consists of consultation and clinics only.



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