Infectious Diseases


Our research in bacteriology focuses on the “ESKAPE” pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumanii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter species), a group that includes some of the most significant microbial pathogens exhibiting antimicrobial resistance.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show rapidly increasing rates of infection due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VRE), and fluoroquinolone-resistant P. aeruginosa.

For example, Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection is associated with high mortality that was calculated at 39 percent for MRSA and 24 percent for methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. Even in the pediatric age group Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia is associated with an estimated annual incidence of 6.5 cases per 100,000 people.

Overall, more people now die of MRSA infection in our nation’s hospitals than of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined. As noted above, bloodstream infections that are not treated effectively can result in sepsis. More than 751,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with sepsis with an estimated prevalence of 90.4 cases per 100,000 patients.