Artwork courtesy of La Grange Remote Community School, Bidyadanga Community, Karajarri Country

About Strep A

Strep A is a bacteria that causes throat and skin infections, usually in kids aged five to 15. Left untreated, it can also lead to devastating conditions that can cause lasting damage to the heart or kidneys, toxic shock syndrome or flesh-eating disease.

Each year, Strep A causes 616 million sore throats and 500,000 deaths. That’s why the Australian Strep A Vaccine Initiative (ASAVI) is leading the global effort to develop a world-first Strep A vaccine. We’re determined to reduce the impact of Strep A infections, potentially saving millions of young lives and improving the health and wellbeing of our kids.

Learn more about ASAVI's work

Each year, Strep A causes

Million sore throats
Thousand deaths

ASAVI is a partnership between Telethon Kids Institute and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), led by Co-Directors Jonathan Carapetis and Andrew Steer. Together, we work closely with public health organisations, industry, academic partners and the International Strep A Consortium (SAVAC).

  • Telethon Kids Institute
  • Murdoch Children's Research Institute

By joining forces with the best minds, we know we can achieve our goal of developing a safe and effective Strep A vaccine.

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Our Sore Throat Study

Can your child help us to stamp out sore throats? Our researchers want to learn more about sore throats and how to prevent them. We’re looking for children and young people, aged from three to 14 years, to take part in a new Sore Throat Study investigating pharyngitis (sore throats). This Study is a crucial first step towards a vaccine against sore throats caused by Strep A.

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Our goal

Our end goal is to develop a safe and effective vaccine against Strep A to prevent serious diseases such as acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, improving the health outcomes of children and families.

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Protecting Communities

Strep A has a devastating effect on Indigenous populations around the globe and ASAVI is committed to closing this unacceptable health gap.

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have one of the highest rates of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) caused by Strep A infection, with rates also alarmingly high in Maori and Pacific Island children.

ARF leads to rheumatic heart disease (RHD), which can cause permanent damage to the valves in the heart. A Strep A vaccine will potentially reduce the 39 million cases of RHD and 300,000 deaths from it each year.

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Globally, a Strep A vaccine will potentially reduce

Million cases of RHD
Thousand deaths per year

Telethon Kids Institute and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute respectfully acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this nation, the traditional custodians and guardians of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to ancestors and Elders past, present and emerging.

“Our goal is to prevent Strep A infections occurring in the first place - before they can cause serious and life-threatening complications - and a vaccine is critical to this work.”
Professor Jonathan Carapetis
"A new vaccine could stop Strep A infections in Australia and around the world. Globally Strep A is almost as deadly as malaria parasites, tuberculosis bacteria and HIV, with rheumatic heart disease alone affecting more than 39 million people, causing about 300,000 deaths. That is why it’s imperative we develop a vaccine."
Professor Andrew Steer

Our Story

Our story began in 2019, with a funding announcement from MRFF to accelerate the development of a Strep A vaccine.
July 2019
ASAVI project commenced
March 2020
Convened Scientific Advisory Board and held first meeting
July 2020
Convened Indigenous Advisory Board and held first meeting
September 2020
Selected lead candidate for Strep A vaccine development

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Latest news and insights

We are funded by the Australian Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and our philanthropic partners.

  • Open Philanthropy