Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are associated with high morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. YSPH faculty are working to understand, prevent and control HAIs through a combination of clinical epidemiologic studies, surveillance activities and high-throughput sequencing projects. Melinda Pettigrew is working to understand how alterations in the gastrointestinal microbiota of hospitalized patients affects risk of HAIs due to antibiotic resistant organisms. The CDC categorizes carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaciae (CRE) as an urgent threat to public health and the WHO ranked CRE as priority 1 critical in their 2017 global priorities list of antibiotic resistant bacteria threats. Dr. Pettigrew is also working with the Connecticut Emerging Infections Program to describe transmission patterns of CRE strains causing HAIs in the state of Connecticut. Students, faculty and staff at the Connecticut Emerging Infections Program are conducting surveillance on Clostridium difficile to increase understanding of the epidemiology of healthcare-associated C. difficile infections. Dr. Louise-Marie Dembry’s research focuses on healthcare epidemiology, especially the prevention and control of HAIs, antimicrobial resistant organisms and patient safety.
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