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CDC Awards $22M to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance, Infectious Diseases

NEW YORK – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday that it has awarded $22 million to projects aimed at combating antimicrobial resistance (AR) and infectious diseases.

The awards were distributed to 28 global organizations through two new networks called the Global Action in Healthcare Network, or GAIHN, and the Global AR Laboratory and Response Network. The new networks coupled with additional short-term research projects that are part of the funding span 50 countries, the CDC said.

The programs overall aim to build infection control and laboratory capacity, and to develop new ways to detect and respond to pathogenic threats. The CDC has also invested in short-term global AR innovation research projects, "working with investigators to identify new public health solutions to prevent antimicrobial-resistant infections and their spread," the agency said.

"Antimicrobial resistance is not going away and new AR threats will continue to emerge," said Denise Cardo, director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion.

The new investments use the CDC's domestic AR Lab Network as a model, Cardo added, and they leverage "proven expertise to fill critical gaps and inform data-driven responses before threats can spread in communities, across borders, or around the world."

The organizations receiving funding include the American Society for Microbiology, American Type Culture Collection, Association of Public Health Laboratories, the US Civilian Research & Development Foundation, the Pakistan National Institute of Health, the Pan American Health Organization, and the World Health Organization.

Funding will also go to projects in the US at Columbia University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt University, Washington State University, and Washington University in St. Louis, or WUSTL.

Funding will go to non-US projects at American University of Beirut, Universidad de Desarrollo in Chile, University of Campinas in Brazil, University of Cantabria in Spain, University of Nairobi, and the University of Oxford.

Several of the short-term research projects at these organizations have a strong genomic bent. For instance, the American University of Beirut will establish a whole-genome sequencing laboratory in the Middle East and North African region for reference and research on enteric pathogens. Meanwhile, University of Pennsylvania researchers will investigate the prevalence of multidrug resistance in Botswana using WGS while one project at WUSTL will interrogate the phylogenomics and mobilome of colonizing multidrug-resistant organisms in hospitalized patients and community dwellers in Pakistan. 

Additional funding will go to Family Health International, FIOTEC, Global Scientific Solutions for Health, Health Security Partners, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh, and Koperasi Jasa Institut Riset Eijkman in Indonesia.

These institutions received awards through a competitive selection process based on scientific needs and funds available, the CDC said.

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