Dr Azucena Bardají is a clinical researcher at the maternal, Child and Reproductive Health Initiative and the Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health Programme of ISGlobal. Her research interests have been always directed toward diseases affecting the most vulnerable populations and linked to poverty-related diseases.
The main areas of work have been malaria in pregnancy, with emphasis on understanding the burden and impact of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax, the physiopathological mechanisms involved on malaria infection in the placenta, and the evaluation of preventive strategies such as bednets and intermittent preventive treatment with antimalarial drugs in African pregnant women.
She has also worked on the evaluation of the impact of HIV/AIDS on maternal and infant health in Africa, and the assessment of the acceptability of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine among pre-adolescents and the most adequate strategies for HPV vaccine delivery in Mozambique. Over the last years, she has studied the effect of the Zika virus in pregnancy on maternal and foetal health, and the long-term consequences on child neurodevelopment.
Currently, her main interests focus on the understanding of the burden of diseases preventable through maternal immunization (respiratory syncytial virus, group B Streptococcus, influenza and pertussis) and the evaluation of new maternal vaccine candidates in low-income settings, as well as on factors determining successful introduction of maternal immunization strategies in these regions.
Lines of research
- Burden and impact of relevant maternal immunization-preventable diseases in pregnant women and infants.
- Evaluation of the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of maternal vaccinations.
- Effect of maternal infections (malaria and HIV infection) on responses to maternal vaccines.
- Barriers and facilitators for optimal delivery of maternal immunization strategies.
- Effect of emerging infectious diseases (e.g. Zika, COVID-19,…) in pregnancy on maternal, foetal and infant health.
- Malaria in pregnancy: burden and impact (P. falciparum and P. vivax) and evaluation of preventive strategies.
- Bramugy J, Mucasse H, Massora S, Vitorino P, Aerts C, Mandomando I, Paul P, Chandna J, Seedat F, Lawn JE, Bardají A*, Bassat Q*.*Equal contributors. Short and long-term outcomes of GBS invasive disease in Mozambican children: Results of a case cohort and retrospective observational study and implications for future vaccine introduction. Clin Infect Dis. 2022 Jan 20;74 (S1): S14-S23. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab793.
- Elena Marbán-Castro, Anna Goncé, Victoria Fumadó , Miguel J Martíne, Marta López, Laura García-Otero, Laura Salazar, Carolina Esteve, Dolors Salvia, Claudia Fortuny, Elisenda Eixarch,…,Raquel González, José Muñoz, Joaquim Gascón, Jaume Ordi, Clara Menéndez, A Bardají. Zika virus infection in pregnant travellers and impact on childhood neurodevelopment in the first two years of life: A prospective observational study. Trav Med Infect Dis. Mar-Apr 2021;40:101985. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2021.101985.
- Bardají A, Mindu C, Augusto OJ, Casellas A, Cambaco O, Simbine E, Matsinhe G, Macete E, Menéndez C, Sevene E, Munguambe K. Awareness of cervical cancer and willingness to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus in Mozambican adolescent girls. Papillomavirus Res. 2018 Apr 14;5:156-162. doi: 10.1016/j.pvr.2018.04.004.
- Goncé A, Martínez MJ, Marbán-Castro E, Saco A, Soler A, Alvarez-Mora MI, Peiro A, Gonzalo V, Hale G, Bhatnagar J, López M, Zaki S, Ordi J, Bardají A. Spontaneous Abortion Associated with Zika Virus Infection and Persistent Viremia. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 May;24(5):933-935. doi: 10.3201/eid2405.171479.
- Bardají A, Martínez-Espinosa FE, Arévalo-Herrera M, Padilla N, Kochar S, Ome-Kaius M, Bôtto-Menezes C, Castellanos ME, Kochar DK, Kochar SK, Betuela I, Mueller I, Rogerson S, Chitnis C, Hans D, Menegon M, Severini C, del Portillo H, Dobaño C, Mayor A, Ordi J, Piqueras M, Sanz S, Wahlgren M, Slutsker L, Desai M and Menéndez C for the PregVax Study Group. Burden and impact of Plasmodium vivax in pregnancy: a multi-centre prospective observational study. PLoS Neg Trop Med, Jun 2017. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005606.
- Bardají A, Sigauque B, Sanz S., Maixenchs M., Ordi J., Aponte JJ, Mabunda S, Alonso PL, Menéndez C. Impact of malaria at the end of pregnancy on infant mortality and morbidity. J Infect Dis. 2011 Mar 1;203(5):691-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiq049.
- C Menéndez, A Bardají, B Sigauque , C Romagosa , S Sanz, E Serra-Casas , E Macete, A Berenguera, David , C Dobaño, D Naniche, A Mayor, J Ordi, I Mandomando, JJ Aponte, S Mabunda, PL. Alonso. A randomized placebo-controlled trial of Intermittent Preventive Treatment in Pregnant Women in the context of Insecticide Treated Nets delivered through the Antenatal Clinic. 2008, Plos One Apr 9;384):e1934. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001934.
- Group B Streptococcus Infection during Pregnancy and Infancy: Estimates of Regional and Global Burden (28/04/2022)
- Maternal immunization: A call to accelerate progress (20/04/2019)