Looking Ahead to 2019
Preparedness to fight infectious diseases is one of NCEZID’s top priorities in 2019. NCEZID experts continue to strengthen preparedness efforts on many fronts:
- In 2019, the Laboratory Response Network (LRN) will mark its 20th anniversary of working with partners to ensure that the United States can detect and respond to dangerous and emerging infectious diseases like H1N1 influenza, MERS, Ebola, and Zika. Moving forward, NCEZID experts will continue to provide leadership and support to make sure that the LRN stays well ahead of new health threats and demands.
- Design will begin of a new, much-needed high-containment laboratory, which will allow CDC scientists to continue conducting leading-edge work on some of the world’s deadliest pathogens.
- As infectious disease threats grow in the United States, the way NCEZID supports states also needs to grow. The Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) Program has engaged partners across the country to make strategic improvements to ensure that its new 5-year Cooperative Agreement (2019–2024) gives support to prevent and control the spread of infectious disease threats in the United States.
In 2019 and beyond, NCEZID experts know that international outbreaks like Ebola will continue, especially in insecure settings like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and they will continue working vigilantly with many partners to protect people abroad and in the United States from these deadly outbreaks.
Also on the horizon are efforts to prevent deaths from infectious diseases like cholera and rabies. For example, NCEZID will continue to collaborate with global partners to reduce cholera deaths by 90% and eliminate human deaths from dog-transmitted rabies by 2030.
NCEZID and nine other federal agencies will continue working together to tackle the rising threat posed by diseases from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. The partners will put into place a National Strategy for Vector-borne Diseases to prioritize resources, including new technologies and funds to help states combat these diseases. By working in concert, they can start solving problems the nation faces as vector-borne diseases continue to rise.
Advanced Molecular Detection
Advanced Molecular Detection efforts at CDC are poised to take public health infectious disease work into the future through continued innovation and new opportunities, including plans to:
- Develop and adapt tools that combine genomic data with epidemiologic data to better support detection and investigation of infectious disease outbreaks.
- Build a public health workforce adept in pathogen genomics and molecular epidemiology.
- Create a sustainable DNA sequencing technology infrastructure across the United States.
- Keep up with rapid advances in sequencing technologies, adapting relevant technologies for use in public health.
- Develop new tests that can identify and characterize foodborne bacteria directly from patient specimens without the need for a culture (without needing to grow the bacteria in the lab). This potentially means getting lab results in hours rather than days.
- Tracking and data: Share AR data and improve data collection
- Infection prevention and control: Reduce the spread of resistant germs
- Antibiotic use: Improve appropriate antibiotic use while ensuring access to these drugs
- Environment and sanitation: Decrease antibiotics and resistance in the environment while improving sanitation
- Vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics: Invest in their development and improve access
These commitments will have a major impact over the coming years, as NCEZID expands its activities to meet the increasing need to reduce AR not just in the United States, but globally as well.