CDC funds 5 Prevention Epicenters to focus on infection prevention tactics

The CDC awarded $26 million to five academic medical centers Monday to aid in the development of innovative ways to prevent infections, particularly antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. The funds are part of the Prevention Epicenters Program, which started in 1997.

As of Monday, five Prevention Epicenters are funded through 2020, with a goal to "build on previous research and develop new prevention strategies, enabling doctors and nurses to better protect the health and safety of their patients," according to the CDC. Those five epicenters are:

  • Chicago Prevention and Intervention Epicenter at Rush University Medical Center and Cook County Health and Hospitals System
  • Duke University and the University of North Carolina
  • The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and University of California, Irvine
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and BJC Healthcare Prevention Epicenter

The newly funded Prevention Epicenters will focus on the following:

  • Determining factors that predict which patients in intensive care units will be colonized with an antibiotic-resistant bug
  • Discovering the effect antibiotics have on ICU patients' gut microbiomes
  • Testing new strategies for regional approaches to prevent infections and track transmission of bacteria
  • Finding the best way to disinfect ICU patients' skin to prevent infection
  • Determining how microbiome restoration can treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections
  • Using lab data to automatically detect outbreaks

The Chicago Prevention and Intervention Epicenter also received an additional $4.45 million from the CDC's Safety and Healthcare Evaluation and Research Development contract. That money is specifically for the development and testing of regional approaches to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from healthcare facility to healthcare facility.

"For nearly two decades, the Epicenters have advanced the fight against healthcare-associated infections with practical clinical innovations that have saved lives," said Tom Frieden, MD, the director of the CDC. "Antibiotic-resistant infections are on the rise, making the research even more critical today than ever."

More articles on antibiotic resistance:
Screening for penicillin allergies can prevent the overprescribing of antibiotics
Plants provide leads for new antibiotic candidates
Europe's CDC enacts guidelines to control the spread of antibiotic-resistance gene

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