NCEZID: Innovating Solutions

Pathogens constantly evolve. Protecting Americans demands that we develop better tools to keep us one step ahead of emerging infectious diseases. Innovation is taking place across NCEZID.

What we’re doing:

Examples of innovations worked on by NCEZID scientists include:

  • Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD) combines two powerful technologies (DNA sequencing and advanced computing) to solve complex infectious disease mysteries—the who, what, where, when, and how microbes harm people. Since the Office of Advanced Molecular Detection was established in 2014, AMD has played a pivotal role in:
    • Identifying the genetic makeup of Ebola and Zika during each of those outbreaks.
    • Solving foodborne outbreaks involving Listeria infection faster by linking food sources to clusters of illness.
  • New diagnostics like these are ensuring that diseases are accurately and quickly diagnosed and treated:
    • A test kit for yellow fever Cdc-pdf[20 pages] gives results in 4 hours that used to take 2 days.
    • A new tool that screens for antifungal resistance when treating invasive candidiasis, the most common cause of healthcare-associated bloodstream infections in the United States. The new tool provides rapid and cost-effective screening tool for Candida.
  • Safer and more effective vaccines against rabies for use in people and animals.
  • An electronic platform called ePathology allows physicians and scientists from anywhere in the world to electronically submit images and scanned pathology slides to CDC pathologists for evaluation.
    • Doctors working in the most remote and resource-limited villages just need an internet connection to share slides of their patient’s specimens with pathologists at NCEZID.

Advanced Molecular Detection means that it took 3 weeks to develop a test protocol for Zika. Before AMD, it would have taken 3 months.