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U-M launches effort to conquer common hospital-acquired infection
Date:8/26/2010

anging from diarrhea to life-threatening colon inflammation.

Despite the availability of antibiotics to treat it, C. difficile increasingly recurs in some people. In contrast to many other hospital-acquired infections, recurrent C. difficile does not arise through antibiotic resistance, but through long-term changes in the makeup of the normal microbial inhabitants of the gut.

The multidisciplinary effort at U-M is one of four Cooperative Research Centers nationwide that will form the NIH-sponsored Enterics Research Investigational Network. The work brings together investigators with expertise in microbiology, immunology, clinical medicine, epidemiology, microbial ecology, evolutionary biology, animal modeling and bioinformatics. U-M's three interrelated projects tackle specific aspects of C. difficile pathogenesis.

Young will lead the overall consortium at U -M and will direct a project on the microbial ecology and molecular pathogenesis of C. difficile infection.

Another project, which explores the epidemiology and genomics of C. difficile infections, will involve collecting specimens from inpatients and outpatients at U-M Hospitals and Health Centers to discover the relationship between genetic factors of the pathogen and patient outcomes. David M. Aronoff, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine in infectious diseases, will lead this effort.

Gary Huffnagle, Ph.D., U-M professor of microbiology and immunology and pulmonary and critical care, is co-principal investigator leading the final project, which will examine the interplay between host immunity and the pathogenesis of C. difficile.


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Contact: Anne Rueter
arueter@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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