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Southeastern Pennsylvania Adult and Pediatric Prevention Epicenter Network

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

First Funded: 2011

Overview: The Penn CDC Prevention Epicenter Site represents a broad collaboration across multiple institutions in southeastern Pennsylvania with a dual focus on adult and pediatric patient populations. Penn Epicenter investigators bring expertise in diverse fields including infectious diseases, internal medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, critical care, pulmonary medicine, emergency medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, health economics, and microbiology.
In addition to work conducted within the University of Pennsylvania Health System and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia network, investigators are expanding the scope of the long-standing Delaware Valley Case Control Network (DVCCN) for future CDC Prevention Epicenter initiatives. Established in 1980, the DVCCN includes all adult and pediatric acute care hospitals in the five-county region of Philadelphia with a population base of over 5 million people. This well-established collaborative provides an exceptional network of clinical sites within which to conduct CDC Prevention Epicenter work.

Research Study Areas:Use of biomarkers to improve antimicrobial prescribing; Colonization with antimicrobial resistant organisms; antimicrobial stewardship strategies; epidemiology of household transmission of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA); treatment of multidrug resistant gram-negative organisms; strategies to improve the utility of public reporting of healthcare acquired infections.

Research Projects Led by Penn:

The overall objective of the current CDC-supported Epicenter project at Penn is to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics in the intensive care unit (ICU). The purpose of Phase I of the study is to identify the biomarker, or combination of biomarkers, that provides optimal test characteristics in identifying adults and children/neonates with presumed sepsis who have a very low likelihood of bacterial infection. Results of Phase I will result in development of a biomarker-based algorithm to inform need for antibiotic use in ICU patients. In Phase II, the impact of this biomarker-based algorithm on reducing antibiotic use in the ICU will be determined. Costs or savings associated with the algorithm will also be assessed.

Numerous other projects are currently underway at Penn that are closely linked to the epicenter mission. For example, Penn Epicenter investigators are leading a multicenter study investigating longitudinal household transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This study is also assessing the impact of a decolonization protocol in curbing MRSA transmission in households. Other projects are focusing on the epidemiology and outcome of fluoroquinolone-resistant Escherichia coli infections in hospital and long term care settings as well as infection prevention and active surveillance strategies for curbing emergence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae in the hospital setting. Finally, ongoing work is examining the optimal duration of antimicrobial therapy for urinary tract infections in the pediatric population.

Principal Investigator
Ebbing Lautenbach, MD, MPH, MSCE
Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Senior Scholar, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Associate Director, Clinical Epidemiology Unit (Educational Programs)
Director of Research, Department of Healthcare Epidemiology and Infection Prevention
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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