Clinical OMICS

MAY-JUN 2019

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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34 Clinical OMICs May/June 2019 I n what could become a model for other states on how to tackle and manage the spread of carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections and other anitmicrobial resistant bacteria, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and its Wadsworth Laboratory have teamed with Merck Healthcare Services and Solutions subsidiary ILÚM Health Solutions and OpGen on a pilot program to develop a near real-time pathogen detection and reporting system designed to radically reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistant infections. According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic resistant infections affect more than 2 million people annually, resulting in 23,000 deaths, and take a $35 billion dollar toll on the economy via lost productivity. CREs are a particular focus as they have become resistant to all or nearly all the antibiotics available today. Almost half of hospital patients who get bloodstream infections from CRE bacteria die from the infection. As a result, the CDC has classified CREs as one of three urgent threats to public health. The pilot program, kicked off the beginning of the year, is a first step to build a broader, integrated program to mit- igate this threat. It will leverage OpGen's rapid diagnostics capabilities that can detect and identify multidrug-resistant pathogens in under three hours, and ILÚM's health informa- tion platform designed to gather and anlyze data from hos- pitals via the state's health information exchanges (HIEs). As Jill Taylor, Ph.D., director of the Wadsworth Center see it, there exists a pressing need to develop a comprehensive system for quickly identifying infected patients both for treatment and to quickly isolate them to prevent spread to other patients. "I think that the WHO statement that says 'we are head- ing for a post-antibiotic era in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill' summarizes the significance and the reality very clearly," Taylor said. "The problem is exacerbated by the fact that no new classes of antibiotics have been developed for many years, so we are rapidly running out of options to treat drug resistant infec- tions. Imagine the possibility that soon relatively common surgical procedures like hip or knee replacements could become very high-risk operations." Real-time identification When it comes to the battle against multidrug-resistant pathogens, hospitals and health systems are too often play- ing catch-up instead of proactively treating patients with a New York State Department of Health, ILÚM, OpGen Partner to Fight Antimicrobial Resistance By Chris Anderson Resist This OpGen's Acuitas AMR gene panel provides detection of multidrug- resistant bacterial pathogens in as little as three hours.

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