Call for local families to take part in new research

12 October 2022 - Babies across South London will play a vital role in a new research study combatting Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Test tubes in a rack

The Harmonie study, supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research, is helping to find out how well a one-off injection protects babies from RSV, in the hope it can prevent a major cause of death and illness in children across the world.

RSV often causes only mild illnesses, like a cold. Yet, for some babies, it can lead to more severe lung problems such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia, and the virus is one of the leading causes of hospitalisation in all infants worldwide. It affects 90% of children before the age of two, and in recent months, there has been a rise of RSV following the easing of COVID-19 public health measures.

Dr Atul Gupta, Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at King’s College Hospital explained: “RSV is a very common virus and unfortunately for some babies, it can be extremely serious. That’s why this research is so important; we hope it can find a way to prevent children from becoming very unwell as a result of RSV.

“We’re encouraging local families to take a minute to see if they’re suitable to volunteer for the study. The research will include new-born babies up to the age of 12 months old who are in, or are approaching, their first RSV season.”

To find out more about taking part in the Harmonie study, visit