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Miguela Caniza, MD, MPH
Miguela Caniza, MD, MPH

Miguela Caniza, MD, MPH

Member, St. Jude Faculty

  • Director, Infectious Diseases Program, St. Jude Global



BSL – Colegio Inmaculada Concepción, Caaguazú, Paraguay
MD – Universidad Nacional de Asunción, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Asunción, Paraguay
MA – Linda Vista Bible College and Seminary, El Cajon, California
MPH – University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

Honors & Awards

  • 2012 Hero of Infection Prevention, Association of Professionals of Infection Control (APIC)
  • 2007 Sociedad de Infectologia del Paraguay, Honorary Member
  • 2007 Sociedad Latinoamericana de Infectologia Pediatrica, Honorary Member
  • 1990 Citizenship and Collegiality, State University of New York at Stony Brook
  • 1989 Excellency in Medical Student Teaching, State University of New York at Stony Brook

Research Interests

  • Infection care and control in pediatric hematology/oncology services in countries of limited resources
  • Respiratory infections
  • Leadership and education in healthcare and quality improvement

Selected Publications

Ornelas-Sanchez M, Nuno-Vazquez L, Loera-Reyna A, Torres-Reyes D, Rivera-Gomez R, Sanchez A, Romano M, Gonzalez M, Caniza MA, ristizabal P. The "Golden Hour": a capacity-building initiative to decrease life-threating complications related to neutropenic fever in patients with hematologic malignancies in low- and middle-income countries. Blood Adv 2( Suppl 1): 63-66, 2018.

Gomez SM, Caniza M, Fynn A, Vescina C, Ruiz CD, Iglesias D, Sosa F, Sung L. Fungal infections in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children at a pediatric children's hospital in Argentina. Transpl Infect Dis 20(4):e12913, 2018.

Hijano DR, Otterson D, Homsi MR, Su Y, Tang L, Kirby J, Caniza MA. Brown Recluse Spider Bites in Patients With Neutropenia: A Single-institution Experience. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2018.

Howard SC, Zaidi A, Cao X, Weil O, Bey P, Patte C, Samudio A, Haddad L, Lam CG, Moreira C, Pereira A, Harif M, Hessissen L, Choudhury S, Fu L, Caniza MA, Lecciones J, Traore F, Ribeiro RC, Gagnepain-Lacheteau A. The My Child Matters programme: effect of public-private partnerships on paediatric cancer care in low-income and middle-income countries. Lancet Oncol 19(5): e252-e266, 2018.

Mukkada S, Smith CK, Aguilar D, Sykes A, Tang L, Dolendo M, Caniza MA. Evaluation of a fever-management algorithm in a pediatric cancer center in a low-resource setting. Pediatr Blood Cancer 65(2), 2018.

Robledo-Aceves M, Moreno-Peregrina MJ, Velarde-Rivera F, Ascencio-Esparza E, Preciado-Figueroa FM, Caniza MA, Escobedo-Melendez G. Risk factors for severe bronchiolitis caused by respiratory virus infections among Mexican children in an emergency department. Medicine (Baltimore) 97(9):e0057, 2018.

Allen EK, Randolph AG, Bhangale T, Dogra P, Ohlson M, Oshansky CM, Zamora AE, Shannon JP, Finkelstein D, Dressen A, DeVincenzo J, Caniza M, Youngblood B, Rosenberger CM, Thomas PG. SNP-mediated disruption of CTCF binding at the IFITM3 promoter is associated with risk of severe influenza in humans. Nat Med 23(8):975-983, 2017.

Gonzalez ML, Finerman R, Johnson KM, Melgar M, Somarriba MM, Antillon-Klussmann F, Caniza MA. Understanding hand hygiene behavior in a pediatric oncology unit in a low- to mid-income country. J Nurs Educ Pract 6(9):1-9, 2016.

Gonzalez ML, Melgar M, Homsi M, Shuler A, Antillon-Klussmann F, Matheu L, Ramirez M, Grant MM, Lowther DL, Relyea G, Caniza MA. Measuring readiness for and satisfaction with a hand hygiene e-learning course among healthcare workers in a paediatric oncology centre in Guatemala City. Int J Infect Control 12(4), 2016.

Mukkada S, Kirby J, Apiwattanakul N, Hayden RT, Caniza MA. Use of Fungal Diagnostics and Therapy in Pediatric Cancer Patients in Resource-Limited Settings. Curr Clin Microbiol Rep 3(3):120-131, 2016.

Ojha RP, Stallings-Smith S, Aviles-Robles MJ, Gomez S, Somarriba MM, Caniza MA. Incidence and case-fatality of varicella-zoster virus infection among pediatric cancer patients in developing countries. Eur J Pediatr 175(4):581-585, 2016.

Torres D, Gonzalez ML, Loera A, Aguilera M, Relyea G, Aristizabal P, Caniza MA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition of mucosal barrier injury-associated bloodstream infection improves accurate detection of preventable bacteremia rates at a pediatric cancer center in a low- to middle-income country. Am J Infect Control 44(4):432-437, 2016.

Caniza MA, Odio C, Mukkada S, Gonzalez M, Ceppi F, Chaisavaneeyakorn S, Apiwattanakul N, Howard SC, Conter V, Bonilla M. Infectious complications in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated in low-middle-income countries. Expert Rev Hematol 8(5):627-645, 2015.

Kirby J, Ojha RP, Johnson KM, Bittner EC, Caniza MA. Challenges in managing infections among pediatric cancer patients: Suboptimal national essential medicines lists for low and middle income countries. Pediatr Blood Cancer 62(2):204-207, 2015.

Mosby TT, Romero AL, Linares AL, Challinor JM, Day SW, Caniza M. Testing efficacy of teaching food safety and identifying variables that affect learning in a low-literacy population. J Cancer Educ 30(1):100-107, 2015.

Samudio A, Figueredo D, Lassaletta A, Zelada O, Peris A, Bogado Yinde L, Relyea G, Perez A, Madero L, Ribeiro R, Masera G, Caniza MA. Building a National Pediatric Cancer Center and Network in Paraguay: Lessons for Addressing Challenges in a Low-income Country. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 37(5):383-390, 2015.

Escobedo-Melendez G, Portillo-Gomez L, Andrade-Ramos MA, Bocanegra D, Mercado-Pimentel R, Arredondo L, Torres D, Caniza MA. Posterior fossa tuberculoma in a Huichol native Mexican child: a case report. BMC Res Notes 7:919, 2014.

Hernandez Orozco H, Lucas Resendiz E, Castaneda JL, De Colsa A, Ramirez Mayans J, Johnson KM, Gonzalez N, Caniza MA. Surveillance of healthcare associated infections in pediatric cancer patients between 2004 and 2009 in a public pediatric hospital in Mexico city, Mexico. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 36(2):96-98, 2014.

Avilés-Robles M, Ojha RP, González M, Ojeda-Diezbarroso K, Dorantes-Acosta E, Jackson BE, Johnson KM, Caniza MA. Bloodstream infections and inpatient length of stay among pediatric cancer patients with febrile neutropenia in Mexico City. Am J Infect Control. 2014 Sep 15, 2014. Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2014.07.021. PMID:25234044

Kirby J, Ojha RP, Johnson KM, Bittner EC, Caniza MA. Challenges in managing infections among pediatric cancer patients: Suboptimal national essential medicines lists for low and middle income countries. Pediatr Blood Cancer Oct 12, 2014. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25273. [Epub ahead of print]

Mosby TT, Romero AL, Linares AL, Challinor JM, Day SW, Caniza M. Testing Efficacy of Teaching Food Safety and Identifying Variables that Affect Learning in a Low-Literacy Population. J Cancer Educ May 1, 2014. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:24781933.

Mandegari E, Fu L, Arambu C, Montoya S, Peña A, Johnson KM, Perfect JR, Caniza MA. Mucormycosis Rhinosinusitis at Diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Diagnostics and Management Challenges in a Low-Middle-Income Country. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol Jun 17, 2014. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:24942033.

Oshansky CM, Gartland AJ, Wong SS, Jeevan T, Wang D, Roddam PL, Caniza MA, Hertz T, Devincenzo JP, Webby RJ, Thomas PG. Mucosal immune responses predict clinical outcomes during influenza infection independently of age and viral load. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 189:449-62, 2014. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201309-1616OC.

Kirby J, Dolendo M, Guimera D, Castillo C, Johnson KM, Mzayek F, Nolan VG, Relyea G, Caniza MA. Predictors of wait-time for antibiotic initiation and association of wait-time with hospital length of stay and ICU admission among children with cancer at the Southern Philippines Medical Center. Pediatr Blood Cancer Apr;61(4):680-6, 2014. PMID:24660227

Johnson KM, Gonzalez M, Dueñas L, Gamero M, Luque L, Caniza MA. Improving waste segregation while reducing costs in a tertiary-care hospital in a low-middle income country in Central America: A model for quality improvement. Waste Manag Res 31:733-8, 2013.

Hertz T, Oshansky CM, Roddam PL, DeVincenzo JP, Caniza MA, Jojic N, Mallal S, Phillips E, James I, Halloran ME, Thomas PG, Corey L. HLA targeting efficiency correlates with human T-Cell response magnitude and with mortality from Influenza A infection. PNAS 110:13492-7, 2013. PMCID: PMC3746844.

Baskin JL, Lezcano E, Kim BS, Figueredo D, Lassaletta A, Perez-Martinez A, Madero L, Caniza MA, Howard SC, Samudio A, Finlay JL. Management of children with brain tumors in Paraguay. Neuro Oncology 15:235-41, 2013. PMCID: PMC3548583.

Hernández H, Lucas Resendiz E, Luis Castañeda J, De Colsa A, Ramirez J, Johnson KM, Gonzalez N, Caniza MA. Surveillance of healthcare associated infection in pediatric cancer patients between 2004 and 2009 in Mexico City, Mexico. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. Jan 17. [Epub ahead of print], 2013.

DePasse J, Caniza MA, Quessar A, Khattab M, Hessissen L, Ribeiro R, Cherkaoui S, Benchekroun S, Matthay KK. Infections in hospitalized children and young adults with acute leukemia in Morocco. Pediatr.Blood Cancer 60:916-22, 2013.

Show More

Caniza MA, Hunger SP, Schrauder A, Valsecchi MG, Pui CH, Masera G; Members of international study group of childhood ALL ( “Ponte di Legno Working Group”). The Controversy of varicella vaccination in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer 58:12-16, 2012.PMCID: PMC3004985.

Gavidia R, Fuentes SL, Vasquez R, Bonilla M, Ethier MC, Diorio C, Caniza MA, Howard SC, Sung L. Low socioeconomic status is associated with prolonged times to assessment and treatment, sepsis and infectious deaths in pediatric fever in El Salvador. PLoS One 7(8):e43639, 2012.PMCID: PMC3425537.

Rodriguez-Auad JP, Nava-Frias M, Casasola-Flores J, Johnson KM, Nava-Ruiz A, Perez-Robles V, Caniza MA. Clinical characteristics and the epidemiology of respiratory syncytial virus infection in pediatric patients in a referral hospital in Mexico. Int J Infect Dis 16:e508-13, 2012.

Melgar M, De-Leon RE, Geronimo M, Ramirez M, Asturias EJ, Antillon-Klussman F, Guimera D, Caniza MA. How we optimized prevention and control of pandemic 2009 influenza A (H1N1) in a resource-limited nation’s pediatric oncology unit. Am J Infect Control 39:534-535, 2011.

Carr S, Ilyushina NA, Franks J, Adderson EE, Caniza MA, Govorkova EA, Webster RG. Oseltamivir-resistent Influenza A and B viruses pre- and post-antiviral therapy in children and young adults with cancer. Pediatr Infect Dis J 30:284-8, 2011. PMCID: PMC3070406.

Camp JW, Barfield RC, Rodriguez V, Young AJ, Finerman R, Caniza MA. Challenges faced by research ethics committees in El Salvador: results from a focus group study. Dev World Bioeth 9:11-7, 2009.

Caniza MA, Dueñas L, Lopez B, Rodriguez A, Maron G, Hayden R, Srivastava DK, McCullers J. A practical guide to alcohol-based hand hygiene infrastructure in a resource-poor pediatric hospital. Am J Infect Control 37:851-4, 2009.

Caniza MA, Maron G, McCullers J, Clara WA, Cedillos R, Dueñas L, Arnold S, Williams BF, Tuomanen EI. Planning and implementation of an infection control program for health care providers in Latin America. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 28:1328-33, 2007.

Caniza MA, Maron G, Moore EJ, Quintana Y, Liu T. Effective hand hygiene education with the use of flipcharts in a hospital in El Salvador. J Hosp Infect 65:58-64, 2007.

Caniza MA, Clara W, Maron G, Navarro-Marin JE, Rivera R, Howard SC, Camp J, Barfield RC. Establishment of ethical oversight of human research in El Salvador: lessons learned. Lancet Oncol. 7:1027-33, 2006

Last update: February 2019