Published on: 1 November 2022

Our Research and Development team have recently become the first unit to recruit patients in the HARMONIE Research Study in the Greater Manchester Network.

This study will involve working with families and infants across East Lancashire, to help develop and advance Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV) protection in babies.

RSV is a common seasonal virus that infects nearly all babies by their second birthday. Most of the time it causes a mild illness, like a cold. However, for some babies, it leads to more severe lung problems such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia. RSV infection is unpredictable and is a leading cause of hospitalisations in babies.

Most hospitalisations due to RSV occur in otherwise healthy babies, and it is difficult to know which babies will develop severe disease requiring medical care. For this reason, research is needed to protect babies from respiratory infections in the future.

The HARMONIE Research Study will be looking at how strongly babies can be protected from serious illness due to RSV infection by giving them a single antibody dose.

When asked about the achievement in becoming the first unit to recruit HARMONIE.jpgpatients in the Greater Manchester Network, Consultant Athanasios Konstantinidis said “Our most recent performance report suggests that we are the highest recruiting centre in paediatric research in the Greater Manchester Network. This is a big achievement given that we are a small district general hospital and the historical low paediatric research there’s been.”

Heather Collier, Clinical Research Nurse, added “Becoming the first research site to recruit to the study in the Greater Manchester Research Network is a great achievement.  Since recruiting our first four patients at Royal Blackburn Hospital, our research clinics are getting busy with more patients booked over the coming weeks”.

“As many as 28,860 babies in the UK, France, and Germany will take part in the HARMONIE Study. This study will include newborn babies to babies 12 months old who are in, or are approaching, their first RSV season.”

The Research team are currently contacting parents of eligible infants if they are happy to provide study information. Parents are also being contacted through their GP and Health Visitor.

To learn more about this study and whether it may be an option for your baby, please visit