What is BPAIIG?
The British Paediatric Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Group (BPAIIG) is an affiliated speciality group of the
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)
. Members of the
BPAIIG are actively involved in the clinical care of children as well as in
research and development of new methods of investigation and treatment of
allergic, immune and infectious conditions. Research presentations by trainees
are an important part of the Spring and Autumn meetings. Encouraging trainees
to proceed in this field is a crucial function of the group. Establishment of
Oxford Infection and Immunity Summer Meeting
in 2003 under
the auspices of BPAIIG and the European
Society of Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID), has complemented the BPAIIG rolling
training programme. BPAIIG members are also involved with the specialist
training of young doctors, via the Allergy, Immunology, and
Infectious Diseases CSAC of the RCPCH.
In the early 1970s several specialist paediatric groups were
started as subgroups of the British Paediatric Association (BPA). Proposals to
start one for immunology arose in conversation between Professor CBS Wood and
Professor JF Soothill and the first meeting was convened in 1976. The purpose
was to provide a forum for presentation of work on paediatric immunology and
immunodeficiency in the UK and to provide a means to encourage research and the
dissemination of information in this important area.
In the mid 1970s the only specialist in paediatric infectious
diseases in Britain was Dr WC Marshall who, together with Professor Soothill,
recognised the need for an Infectious Diseases Group. This led to the formation
of the British Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases Group (BPIIDG) and
the first meeting was held in 1981 at the Spring BPA Meeting in York with
Professor Soothill, Professor Wood and Dr. Marshall acting as convenors. The
late Professor Charles Janeway, former Chief of Paediatrics at the Boston
Children's Hospital USA, was influential in encouraging the activities of the
Group and attended one of the early meetings. Unfortunately, Dr Marshall died
in 1983, his pioneering efforts being recognised in the annual memorial lecture
at ESPID. Since 2001 there has been a bi-annual Soothill lecture at the RCPCH
Spring meeting, in recognition of Professor Soothill’s work in Paediatric
Immunology. After his sad death in 2004, the lecture became the Soothill
Memorial Lecture, the first given by his long time colleague, Prof Mac Turner
at the York Spring Meeting in 2005.
In 1984, in recognition of the interest and importance of
infectious diseases in childhood, Professor Richard Moxon was elected convenor.
The proportion of members with an interest in and the number of abstracts
submitted on infectious diseases increased substantially over the next several
years. The next convenor of the Group was Graham Davies (1990 - 1994), followed
by Andrew Cant (1994 - 1999), Mike Sharland (1999-2003) and Hermione Lyall
(2003 - 2007). The current convenor of the group is Delane Shingadia. In 2000,
to foster interest and recognise the emerging importance of childhood allergic
diseases, the name of the Group was changed to the British Paediatric Allergy,
Immunology and Infection Group (BPAIIG).
The annual Autumn Meetings of the Group commenced around 1990.
Initially, independent meetings were held, but more recently joint meetings
with other organisations such as the Public Health Laboratory Service,
Federation of Infection Society, European Society for Paediatric Haematology,
and the Dutch Paediatric Infection and Immunology Society have been held.