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The COVID-19 Pandemic Unmasked the Challenges Faced by Early-Stage Faculty in Infectious Diseases: A Call to Action

Scherer, Erin M; Backer, Martin; Carvajal, Karen; Danziger-Isakov, Lara; Frey, Sharon; Howard, Leigh M; Huang, Felicia Scaggs; Kottkamp, Angelica C; Reid, Tara; Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria C; Karita, Helen C Stankiewicz; Teoh, Zheyi; Wald, Anna; Whitaker, Jennifer; Wiley, Zanthia; Ofotokun, Igho; Edwards, Kathryn M
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated increase in family care responsibilities resulted in unsustainable personal and professional workloads for Infectious Diseases (ID) faculty on the front lines. This was especially true for early-stage faculty (ESF), many of whom had caregiving responsibilities. In addition, women faculty, underrepresented in medicine and science faculty, and particularly ESF experienced marked declines in research productivity, which significantly impacts career trajectories. When combined with staffing shortages due to an aging workforce and suboptimal recruitment and retention in ID, these work-life imbalances have brought the field to an inflection point. We propose actionable recommendations and call on ID leaders to act to close the gender, racial, and ethnic gaps to improve the recruitment, retention, and advancement of ESF in ID. By investing in systemic change to make the ID workforce more equitable, we can embody the shared ideals of diversity and inclusion and prepare for the next pandemic.
PMID: 36131321
ISSN: 1537-6591
CID: 5335452

Children Lagging with COVID-19 Vaccination

Noor, Asif; Backer, Martin; Krilov, Leonard R
Children account for a growing share of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections in the United States. Since the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccine in adults, there has been an upward trend of cases in children, accounting for approximately 20% of the weekly new cases. The majority (38.3%) reported in high school students age 14 to 17 years. Children are also at risk of a postinflammatory condition, known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, after COVID-19. In addition, infected children could transmit the virus to vulnerable adults, contributing to ongoing pandemic. We believe that children need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and review the available evidence. [Pediatr Ann. 2022;51(5):e180-e185.].
PMID: 35575538
ISSN: 1938-2359
CID: 5294102

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic Unmasked the Challenges Faced by Early-Stage Faculty in Infectious Diseases: A Call to Action

Scherer, Erin M.; Backer, Martin; Carvajal, Karen; Danziger-Isakov, Lara; Frey, Sharon; Howard, Leigh M.; Huang, Felicia Scaggs; Kottkamp, Angelica C.; Reid, Tara; Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria C.; Karita, Helen C. Stankiewicz; Teoh, Zheyi; Wald, Anna; Whitaker, Jennifer; Wiley, Zanthia; Ofotokun, Igho; Edwards, Kathryn M.
ISSN: 1058-4838
CID: 5388632

Pediatric Fistula Initiative: Reducing Bloodstream Infections in an Outpatient Pediatric Hemodialysis Center

Chotikanatis, Kobkul; Suman, Nisha; Bäcker, Martin; Paudyal, Bandana; Schoeneman, Morris; Kohlhoff, Stephan; Hammerschlag, Margaret R
Bloodstream infection is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in children on hemodialysis (HD). From January 2009 through April 2011, the incidence of access-related bloodstream infections (ARBs) in pediatric patients on HD at our hospital was 3.45/1000 patient days. Almost all of these children were receiving HD via central line catheters, and none were receiving HD via arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs). In an effort to reduce the rate of infection in children receiving HD at our institution, we introduced the Pediatric Fistula Initiative, a program to increase creation and use of AVFs in children. Thirty-three children on HD were observed, 9 of whom received AVFs during the study period. The incidence of ARBs decreased to 1.30/1000 patient days (P < .001) during the 24-month intervention period from May 2011 through May 2013.
PMID: 26582876
ISSN: 2048-7207
CID: 4591402

Membrane-bound SIV envelope trimers are immunogenic in ferrets after intranasal vaccination with a replication-competent canine distemper virus vector

Zhang, Xinsheng; Wallace, Olivia; Wright, Kevin J; Backer, Martin; Coleman, John W; Koehnke, Rebecca; Frenk, Esther; Domi, Arban; Chiuchiolo, Maria J; DeStefano, Joanne; Narpala, Sandeep; Powell, Rebecca; Morrow, Gavin; Boggiano, Cesar; Zamb, Timothy J; Richter King, C; Parks, Christopher L
We are investigating canine distemper virus (CDV) as a vaccine vector for the delivery of HIV envelope (Env) that closely resembles the native trimeric spike. We selected CDV because it will promote vaccine delivery to lymphoid tissues, and because human exposure is infrequent, reducing potential effects of pre-existing immunity. Using SIV Env as a model, we tested a number of vector and gene insert designs. Vectors containing a gene inserted between the CDV H and L genes, which encoded Env lacking most of its cytoplasmic tail, propagated efficiently in Vero cells, expressed the immunogen on the cell surface, and incorporated the SIV glycoprotein into progeny virus particles. When ferrets were vaccinated intranasally, there were no signs of distress, vector replication was observed in the gut-associated lymphoid tissues, and the animals produced anti-SIV Env antibodies. These data show that live CDV-SIV Env vectors can safely induce anti-Env immune responses following intranasal vaccination.
PMID: 24074564
ISSN: 1096-0341
CID: 4591392

Transmission of carbapenem-resistant pathogens in New York City hospitals: progress and frustration

Landman, David; Babu, Elizabeth; Shah, Neha; Kelly, Paul; Olawole, Olafisoye; Bäcker, Martin; Bratu, Simona; Quale, John
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are endemic in many medical centres. Because therapeutic options are limited, understanding the epidemiology and controlling the spread of these pathogens are of paramount importance. METHODS:Isolates of K. pneumoniae, A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa were collected from 14 hospitals in New York City over a 3 month period in 2009, and analysed for the presence of genes encoding important carbapenemases. Comparisons were made with a similar study conducted in 2006. Demographic and infection control-related information from hospitals was collected. RESULTS:Overall, 29% of K. pneumoniae possessed the carbapenemase KPC, significantly improved from the 38% observed in 2006 (P < 0.001). However, carbapenem resistance worsened in A. baumannii (mostly due to the emergence of strains with OXA-type carbapenemases) and P. aeruginosa. The decline in KPC-possessing K. pneumoniae was not uniformly observed in all of the hospitals. In a subset analysis of nine hospitals, those with a decreasing prevalence of bla(KPC) had shorter average lengths of stay. CONCLUSIONS:Measurable improvement has occurred in reducing the spread of KPC-possessing K. pneumoniae, and reducing the average length of stay may augment infection control efforts. However, the problem of carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa lingers. New approaches, including respiratory isolation and environmental cleaning, need to be examined to control the spread of A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa.
PMID: 22378678
ISSN: 1460-2091
CID: 4591382

Activity of polymyxin B and the novel polymyxin analogue CB-182,804 against contemporary Gram-negative pathogens in New York City

Quale, John; Shah, Neha; Kelly, Paul; Babu, Elizabeth; Backer, Martin; Rosas-Garcia, Gabriella; Salamera, Julius; George, Avrille; Bratu, Simona; Landman, David
Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa have become common in many regions, often requiring therapy with colistin or polymyxin B. An increase in resistance to these agents would render many infections untreatable. We tested the activity of polymyxin B and the novel polymyxin analogue CB-182,804 against over 5,000 recent Gram-negative clinical isolates from New York City, a region with a high prevalence of multiresistant strains. Over 96% of Escherichia coli, K. pneumoniae, A. baumannii, and P. aeruginosa were susceptible to polymyxin B; only 76% of Enterobacter spp. was susceptible. The MICs of CB-182,804 were generally two-fold higher than polymyxin B and cross-resistance was observed. The addition of rifampin resulted in synergistic inhibition and bactericidal activity in time kill studies, and restored activity against all polymyxin-resistant strains. The synergistic effect of the combination with rifampin was most pronounced against A. baumannii strains, and was slightly greater with CB-182,804 than with polymyxin B against K. pneumoniae and Enterobacter spp. Despite considerable usage of polymyxin B and colistin in this region, polymyxin B retains excellent activity against most Gram-negative isolates. CB-182,804 shows similar activity, particularly when combined with rifampin. The clinical utility of CB-182,804 remains to be determined.
PMID: 22196342
ISSN: 1931-8448
CID: 4591372

Recurrent intravascular-catheter-related bacteremia caused by Delftia acidovorans in a hemodialysis patient [Case Report]

Chotikanatis, Kobkul; Bäcker, Martin; Rosas-Garcia, Gabriela; Hammerschlag, Margaret R
We report the first case of recurrent intravascular-catheter-related bacteremia in a pediatric hemodialysis patient caused by Delftia acidovorans, previously called Comamonas acidovorans or Pseudomonas acidovorans. The patient had a history of multiple infections of central vascular catheters with other organisms, requiring courses of antibiotics and catheter replacements. Previously reported cases of D. acidovorans infections are reviewed. The isolate appeared to become resistant to cephalosporins after antibiotic treatment, but resistance could not be confirmed with additional testing. In vitro susceptibility testing for cephalosporins is not reliable for this organism.
PMID: 21775546
ISSN: 1098-660x
CID: 4591362

Antimicrobial activity of a novel aminoglycoside, ACHN-490, against Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa from New York City

Landman, David; Kelly, Paul; Bäcker, Martin; Babu, Elizabeth; Shah, Neha; Bratu, Simona; Quale, John
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa have become a global problem, often leaving the polymyxins as therapeutic agents of last resort. ACHN-490, a next-generation aminoglycoside with activity against a broad range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens, was examined against clinical isolates of A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa. METHODS:The activity of aminoglycosides and ACHN-490 was determined against a contemporary collection of A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa. Selected aminoglycoside-resistant isolates were screened for the presence of genes encoding common aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes and methylases. RESULTS:Resistance to the traditional aminoglycosides was common in the collection of A. baumannii. ACHN-490 possessed superior activity against these isolates, with an MIC(50) value of 8 mg/L. In P. aeruginosa, the activity of ACHN-490 was similar to that of amikacin (MIC(50) value of 8 mg/L for both agents). For both A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa, the MICs of ACHN-490 did not correlate with the presence of commonly encountered aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes. CONCLUSIONS:For A. baumannii, the MICs of ACHN-490 were lower than those of traditional aminoglycosides. For P. aeruginosa, the activity of ACHN-490 was similar to that of amikacin.
PMID: 21131322
ISSN: 1460-2091
CID: 4591352

Susceptibility profiles, molecular epidemiology, and detection of KPC-producing Escherichia coli isolates from the New York City vicinity

Landman, David; Urban, Carl; Bäcker, Martin; Kelly, Paul; Shah, Neha; Babu, Elizabeth; Bratu, Simona; Quale, John
The detection of Enterobacteriaceae carrying the carbapenemase KPC has been problematic. Thirty isolates of KPC-possessing Escherichia coli were gathered from hospitals in New York City and Connecticut. The imipenem, meropenem, doripenem, and ertapenem MIC50 values were 4, 2, 1, and 4 μg/ml, respectively. Over half of the isolates belonged to a single ribotype. Using an ertapenem breakpoint of 0.25 μg/ml would efficiently detect these isolates.
PMID: 20926706
ISSN: 1098-660x
CID: 4591342