Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center: Battling 'super-bugs' to save a medical miracle

Since its formation, the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center has been battling a foe that threatens many of the modern miracles of medicine: the rise of bacterial strains resistant to multiple forms of antibiotics, including so-called "drugs of last resort."

David Weiss, PhD, the center's director, describes the center as a collection of experts from diverse disciplines, including clinicians, basic scientists, epidemiologists, all working together focused to combat the problem of antibiotic resistance. Dr. Weiss is a faculty member in the GMB and IMP programs.

"There have been traditional walls between the basic scientists, the clinicians, and the clinical microbiology lab, and we've broken down those walls." Weiss himself is a microbiologist, but as center director he is leading a team to tackle what many call one of the biggest health care challenges of our time.

Today the medical community has begun to embrace strategies of infection prevention and stewardship, a policy where antibiotics are used only when absolutely necessary. With this and a host of other public health strategies, they hope to buy time until better therapies and more effective detection methods are developed.

Weiss and his lab team in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, are trying to uncover why certain strains of bacteria, which are resistant to certain drugs, don't show that resistence on some diagnostic tests. This involves working closely with Emory's Clinical Microbiology Laboratory.

Click here to view the full story in the Emory News Center.