CDC Provides $67 Million to Antibiotic Resistance Efforts

The CDC is providing $67 million to the nationwide effort to fight antibiotic resistance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is contributing $67 million to the nationwide effort to fight antibiotic resistance, according to a statement made by the CDC last week. These funds will be distributed to all 50 state health departments, six local health departments (Chicago, the District of Columbia, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, and Philadelphia) and Puerto Rico. This funding will also support seven new regional laboratories that will specialize in rapid detection, identification, and response of emerging resistant pathogens.

These funds will support activities outlined in the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, which was created in order to fully implement the activities defined in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. The main focuses of the Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative involve tracking, rapid detection of and response to outbreaks, improved prescribing, providing better patient care, increasing susceptibility testing, providing insights for research innovation, implementing CDC’s Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship nationwide, and establishing global partnerships dedicated to prevention and detection, as outlined by the CDC.

The infrastructure and lab capacity for the seven regional labs will be provided by the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network, beginning in the fall of 2016. According to the CDC, the network will essentially close the gap between the data that is needed to fight antibiotic resistance and hospital capabilities. State health departments designated as regional labs will focus on the detection of existing as well as emerging types of antibiotic resistance and be able to better investigate emerging resistance more rapidly and effectively. Ultimately, these labs will be able to find ways to prevent future resistance threats as well as improve infection control by producing stronger data.

According to the CDC, “When new resistance threats are detected within healthcare facilities or state and local labs, regional labs will provide support, where needed, to characterize, support response, and track these discoveries.” The support of the AR Lab Network will vary according to state or type of threat due to the fact that outbreak response varies by state. The AR regional labs will also work to support innovations in the development of antibiotics. The FDA-CDC AR Isolate Bank will make samples from the labs available, so other researchers can access earlier diagnoses to develop safe and effective treatment options.

Starting August 1, the funding will be made available to all jurisdictions that will “dramatically expand existing capabilities,” according to the CDC. States will be provided with increased support for the PulseNet and OutbreakNet systems as well as for the Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence. The funds will strengthen the ability of the states to conduct tracking, investigation, and prevention when it comes to foodborne disease.

Additional support will be provided by the CDC to nine health departments dedicated to rapid response activities that will address the threat of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea in the US.

The CDC will also assist in the implementation of antimicrobial resistance activities in six states that will include the implementation of a coordinated approach to prevent infections as well as limit the spread of antibiotic resistance, an approach that can be used in communities as well as across healthcare settings.