NCEZID 2017: Support to States

Vector-borne diseases: CDC funds university centers to confront threats

Some of the world’s most dangerous diseases are spread by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, and it is crucial that we work to stay a step ahead of these diseases. It isn’t an easy task. In 2017, CDC awarded nearly $50 million to 5 universities to establish regional centers of excellence that will help address emerging and exotic vector-borne diseases in the United States, like Zika. These centers will strengthen our nation’s ability to mitigate the threat from vector-borne diseases by generating necessary research, knowledge, and capacity. CDC awarded funds to the University of Florida, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Cornell University, and the University of California, Davis.

CDC awarded nearly $50 million to 5 universities to help address emerging and exotic vector-borne diseases.

illustration of state map with people icons forming a network

DNA sequencing: CDC brings new technology to public health labs

CDC’s Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) program has continued to bring state-of-the-art technology, such as DNA sequencing, into the United States public health system. CDC’s AMD program works with other experts at CDC to ensure the US has the technology needed to protect Americans from infectious disease threats. The CDC AMD program develops and pilots next-generation diagnostics and protocols at CDC and state and local public health labs. These tools are then brought to scale in public health labs nationwide. By the end of 2017, almost every state public health lab had DNA sequencing capacity, and most had incorporated sequencing into their routine activities. State public health laboratories are now using sequencing to understand and control outbreaks of diseases that range from foodborne illnesses to tuberculosis. For example, in the case of foodborne illnesses, DNA sequencing is leading to faster detection of outbreaks and stopping them when they are smaller.

AR Lab Network: Enhancements help labs detect threats

The Antibiotic Resistance Lab Network (AR Lab Network) supports nationwide lab capacity to track changes in antibiotic resistance and to rapidly detect and respond to outbreaks of resistant pathogens in healthcare facilities, food, and the community. The network includes seven regional labs, the National Tuberculosis Molecular Surveillance Center (National TB Center), and labs in 50 states, five cities, and Puerto Rico. In 2017, CDC made several enhancements to the AR Lab Network’s capabilities. The network has increased testing nationwide for the fungal threat Candida, including the multidrug-resistant threat Candida auris, and has strengthened infrastructure and surveillance for TB by adding the new national laboratory. The new center can perform whole genome sequencing, which can help identify new antibiotic-resistant TB strains as they emerge.