Ann Petru , MD
Oakland Magazine Best East Bay Doctors 2009-2010
Director, Infectious Diseases
Director, Pediatric HIV/AIDS Program
Residency: Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland
Fellowship: Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland
Board Certification: Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Ann Petru, MD has a long history of treating children with infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital Oakland. She is also a longtime clinical scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Children’s research arm. Dr. Petru can discuss many topics related to pediatric infectious diseases including antibiotics, “Staph” and “Strep” infections, bacterial meningitis, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and other viral diseases. However, her primary focus is treatment of children with HIV/AIDS and preventing transmission of HIV from mothers to their babies.
Dr. Petru provided care for the first pediatric HIV/AIDS case in the Bay Area in 1983. In 1986, she started the Pediatic HIV/AIDS Program, which has treated more than 700 HIV-infected and HIV-exposed infants, children and adolescents. Many of her patients were among the first to participate in AZT treatment and other clinical trials. These groundbreaking studies allowed her and her staff to evaluate many drug combinations for HIV management, new immunizations for children with HIV, and the long-term effects on children receiving drugs for HIV disease. Because drug therapies have been so successful, children are living much longer. Improved maternal drug therapies reducing transmission of HIV from mothers to their children, means there are now fewer infants born to HIV-infected mothers.
Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly known as Staph, is a species of bacteria which can cause a range of infections from mild skin infections like pimples and boils, to life-threatening infections such as pneumonia, meningitis, sinusitis and toxic shock syndrome. While this bacteria is often found on the skin and in the nose of about a third of the human population, it can become troublesome when it enters an open would or penetrates into the blood, airways or deep tissue.
Group A Streptococcus
Although there are many groups of Streptococci, more commonly known as Strep, group A is responsible for most cases of Strep throat, common among teens. While the type of illness is dependent on the location of the infection, some can become very serious or life threatening if the lungs, bones or soft tissue are invaded
Meningitis is an infection of the meninges, the lining of membranes protecting the brain. Bacterial meningitis can be quite severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities and even death. Vaccines, required by most high schools and colleges, can prevent some types of meningitis and antibiotics can prevent spreading to other people.
Epstein-Barr virus, frequently referred to as EBV, is a member of the herpes virus family and one of the most common human viruses. When infection with EBV occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, 35 to 50 percent of the time it causes infectious mononucleosis. Found in saliva, EBV can only be spread by contact of infected bodily secretions. Symptoms of mono, which can last up to six weeks, include fever, sore throat, and swollen liver, spleen and lymph glands.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has already claimed more than 25 million lives and another 42 million people are currently estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. In 2006, an estimated 4.3 million people became newly infected with HIV, including 530,000 children (over 1,000 per day). In the entire United States in 2006, fewer than 300 children were infected due to availability of medications to treat HIV in their mothers and the infants during the newborn period.
Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
You can reach this physician by contacting Media Relations.