Antibiotic resistance is focus of new nationwide network led by UCSF, Duke

June 13, 2013

Investigators at Duke Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), have been selected to oversee a nationwide research program on antibacterial resistance. It will focus on the challenges associated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. coli. The research team will direct the allocation of a federal grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria are challenging to treat because one often has to rely on second- or third-line antibiotics, the effectiveness of which is not well known, or if known, is less than drugs of choice. These antibiotics may be more toxic, as well,” says co-principal investigator Henry “Chip” Chambers, MD, professor of medicine at UCSF.

To address this growing issue, NIAID created the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group. Led by researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) in collaboration with UCSF, the group serves as a central hub to identify, prioritize, execute, and disseminate clinical research on antibacterial resistance.

The research effort will focus on four priorities: gram-negative bacteria, such as E. coli; gram-positive bacteria, such as MRSA; stewardship and infection control, which will determine how to best prevent infections, prescribe antibiotics, and avoid overuse; and devices and diagnostics, which will aim to reduce the amount of time it takes to determine what type of bacteria are causing infection. Learn more about the program.