The purpose of this study is to see if development of acute severe respiratory infections (ARI) in Health Care Workers (HCW) necessitating removal from the workforce can be prevented.

The University of Queensland is conducting a research study in collaboration with the Queensland Children’s Hospital, Metro South and Metro North. The study aims to reduce the proportion of HCW contracting an ARI necessitating workforce removal by treating with OM-85 (Broncho-Vaxom), an immunostimulant that has been used in 65 countries for over 30 years. The drug works by priming the immune system so that the body can respond quickly to infections.

Evidence from numerous trials has demonstrated that OM85 treatment during periods of high infection risk can reduce the frequency of symptomatic ARI. The mechanism-of-action appears to involve reduction in susceptibility to upper respiratory infection and attenuation of the intensity of inflammation-associated symptoms that accompany infection spread to the lower airways.

Eligible participants will be treated with study medication (OM85) as a participant of either group 1([waitlist control, delayed treatment group] - treatment commences at three months, visit 2) or group 2 ([initial treatment group] -treatment commences at visit 1). There will be a 50:50 chance of allocation to either group.

Contact Sally Galbraith, Research Nurse on covidrasp@uq.edu.au for information.