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Novel strategies target health care-associated infections
Date:3/14/2011

ted States, about one in 20 hospitalized patients get an infection during the course of their medical treatment, according to the CDC.

Washington University is one of five academic medical centers nationwide awarded a total of $10 million by the CDC as part of the Prevention Epicenter Program to develop and test new approaches for reducing health-care-associated infections. Fraser and her colleagues will work closely with Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital and other BJC HealthCare hospitals.

"Washington University and BJC have played a long and valuable role in the Prevention Epicenter Program," says John Jernigan, MD, MS, director of CDC office of HealthCare-Associated Infection Prevention Research and Evaluation. "Their program is renowned for its leadership in the field of health-care-associated prevention research, and we look forward to continuing our research partnership together."

The innovative strategies being explored at Washington University and BJC hospitals include:

  • Investigating whether live micro-organisms called probiotics can reduce the risk of pneumonia in patients on ventilators by restoring the natural balance of intestinal bacteria. Patients on ventilators often are given antibiotics and can't eat a normal diet, which alters the bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract and allows dangerous bacteria to bloom. Pneumonia can develop if the bacteria move into the lungs.

  • Evaluating whether the new antibiotic fidaxomicin can prevent infection with Clostridium difficile, a bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea. The investigational drug has shown promise in treating the infection, but the researchers want to determine whether it also works as a preventive in high-risk patients, such as the elderly or those receiving chemotherapy.

  • Investigating biomarkers to identify early signs of urinary tract infections in patients with urinary catheters. The researchers are devel
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Contact: Caroline Arbanas
arbanasc@wustl.edu
314-286-0109
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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