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Duke to co-lead NIH research network on antibacterial resistance
Date:6/3/2013

DURHAM, N.C. -- Investigators at Duke Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have been selected to oversee a nationwide research program on antibacterial resistance, which includes a focus on the growing unmet 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). Duke has been awarded $2 million in initial funding to launch the network; total funding for the award will reach at least $62 million through 2019.

The grant creates a network of researchers who will design, prioritize, implement and manage a clinical research agenda to address antibacterial resistance, an issue that has been identified as one of the leading threats to human health worldwide. The group's goal is to develop new approaches that can benefit patients.

"Antibacterial resistance is an incredibly complex problem because of a convergence of issues: a dwindling pipeline of new products to treat infections, and a growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria," said Vance Fowler, Jr., M.D., MHS, professor of medicine at Duke and one of the network's two principal investigators.

Antibiotics have been used for the past 70 years, significantly reducing illness and death from bacterial infections. However, some bacteria have adapted to the antibiotics designed to kill them, leaving the drugs less effective.

"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," said co-principal investigator Henry "Chip" Chambers, M.D., professor of medicine at UCSF and chief of the Division
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Contact: Rachel Harrison
919-419-5069
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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