The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today kicks off its 63rd Annual Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Conference. Held April 28 to May 1, the event highlights the life-saving work of its current EIS officers or “disease detectives” and welcomes the incoming class of 78 EIS officers. Presentations focus on EIS investigations, the boots-on-the-ground work behind key CDC health initiatives. More details about Monday’s agenda are available below.
Antibiotic resistance (AR) is a rapidly growing threat. As more and more bacteria become drug resistant, the antibiotics needed to treat infections do not work as well – in some cases, not at all. Each year, more than two million Americans get infections resistant to antibiotics; 23,000 die. If antibiotic resistance continues to expand, minor infections could become life threatening and even routine surgeries would become dangerous.
"People assume that antibiotics will always be there to fight the worst infections, but antimicrobial resistance is robbing us of that certainty and new drug-resistant pathogens are emerging," said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "It's not enough to hope that we'll have effective drugs to combat these infections. We must all act now to safeguard this important resource."
The conference presentations on AR include:
Monday - Outpatient Prescribing for Children: Do doctors overprescribe antibiotics to children?In this investigation researchers sought to define the use of antibiotics among children according to provider specialty and geography.Alicia Demirjian, MD, led a team that evaluated the number of oral antibiotic prescriptions given to people under age 20 years. In 2011, 885 antibiotic prescriptions were written for every 1,000 people. Children under age 2 years had the highest rate of antibiotic prescriptions. Family practitioners were more likely to prescribe antibiotics than were pediatricians. Prescription rates were highest in the South and lowest in the West. The investigation found that antibiotic prescribing practices vary widely among provider specialty and geography, which suggests an opportunity for targeted interventions to reduce use.
Monday - Vaccines for a “Piece de Resistance”: Prevention of Antimicrobial Resistance Among Children Aged <5 Years with the 13-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine: Each year in the U.S., pneumococcal disease causes thousands of cases of meningitis, bloodstream infections, pneumonia and ear infections. Antimicrobial resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) causes 1.2 million U.S. infections annually among all ages. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine helps to greatly reduce severe disease, hospitalization and death. Sara M. Tomczyk’s team evaluated the effects of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) that was introduced in 2010. The investigation found that PCV13 use among children has led to decreased rates of antimicrobial resistant severe pneumococcal disease.
Other EIS presentations on AR include:
Tuesday – Multistate Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Foster Farms Brand Chicken: Salmonella causes approximately 1.2 million infections and 400 deaths annual in the United States. Last year, a cluster of human infections of Salmonella Heidelberg was identified and the CDC and states initiated an investigation to identify the source and prevent additional illnesses. Epidemiologic, traceback and laboratory evidence identified Foster Farms Brand Chicken as the source. The outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics. Although these antibiotics are not typically used to treat Salmonella infections, this ongoing outbreak may be spreading antibiotic resistance to other disease-causing bacteria. This investigation by Dr. Jolene H. Nakao’s team highlighted the need for more rigorous Salmonella control in raw chicken products.
Thursday – Risk Factors for Invasive Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection after Discharge from Acute-Care Hospitals: U.S. hospitals have reducedmethicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections inside their facilities, but MRSA infections have not decreased among patients recently discharged from the hospital. CDC estimates that 38,000 patients developed serious (or invasive) MRSA infections within 12 weeks of being discharged from U.S. hospitals in 2011. As part of CDC’s effort to devise new prevention strategies, Dr. Lauren Epstein led a team that identified which factors made patients more likely to develop serious MRSA infections after hospitalization. They found that more needed to be done to improve care for devices such as catheters, which could expose recently discharged patients to MRSA. Efforts should also include improving infection prevention practices in long term care facilities.
The FY 2015 President’s Budget requests funding for the CDC’s Detect and Protect against Antibiotic Resistance Initiative. This initiative establishes a robust network to rapidly detect the emerging threats – saving lives and healthcare costs. CDC is also at the forefront of efforts to ensure that antibiotics are prescribed wisely and used appropriately.
The CDC has developed a digital press kit, filled with high-resolution images, infographics, multimedia and quotes from experts on the EIS Conference that will be available at 12 PM ET today. Media wishing to attend the EIS conference should RSVP to CDC Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org or (404) 639-3286.