Division of Infectious Diseases

MD/PhD brings clinical and basic science research together

Kelsey Yamada is an MD/PhD student in Dr. Tammy Kielian’s laboratory studying Staphylococcus aureus.  We enjoyed learning more about him and his work! Tell us a little about yourself. I am originally from Hawaii, but moved to Nebraska over a decade ago to attend Creighton University. After graduating with my B.S. Chemistry I moved to Bethesda, MD to work at the NIH. This gave me the… Continue Reading

MD/PhD Student on the Cutting Edge of HIV Research

Jonathan (Yoni) Herskovitz is an MD/PhD student working with Dr. Howard Gendelman studying therapies for HIV.  We were excited to talk to him about his work and his plans for the future! Tell us a little about yourself and your career goals. I am California native, and though pursuing a career as a physician-scientist occupies the majority of my time, I still enjoy astronomy and… Continue Reading

Faculty Research Presentation: Bacterial Iron Metabolism and Novel Antimicrobial Strategies

Every month, we have a faculty member presents their ongoing research. Last month we had the opportunity to learn from Dean Bradley Britigan about novel antimicrobial strategies involving disruption of bacterial iron metabolism.  Microorganisms need iron for growth and metabolism; they need it for enzymes, gene regulation, and development of virulence factors. Most bacterial species requiring iron for metabolism secrete siderophores which are low molecular… Continue Reading

Plazomicin: Will it be the future of MDRO treatment?

Today at our UNMC Infectious Disease Research Conference, Dr. Kelly Cawcutt’s presentation included details on Plazomicin, a new antibiotic recently granted FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation,  aimed at treating multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs). Antibiotic resistance continues to be a clinical problem. The CDC Antibiotic Threat Report has estimated 2 million infections with antibiotic resistant organisms and 23,000 deaths, with antibiotic resistant organisms estimated to cost up… Continue Reading

Effect of variations in clinical practice on blood culture volumes

Blood cultures obtained from central venous catheters (CVC) contain a significantly greater volume of blood than those obtained via peripheral venipuncture.  This is the main finding from a study recently published by investigators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) (Jones RL, Syles HR, Fey PD and Rupp ME).  “Effect of Clinical Variables on the Volume of Blood Collected for Blood Cultures in an… Continue Reading

Research in HIV Medicine…charting a path to longer lives and ending HIV transmission

Research has long been an important part of the mission of the HIV Team at UNMC’s Specialty Care Center For many years, clinic patients clinic have had the opportunity to take part in a variety of projects including interventional treatment for HIV, the study of comorbid conditions and opportunistic infections, and trials targeted towards HIV prevention. Currently, our team has patients enrolled in eleven active… Continue Reading

A New Template for Antibiotic Stewardship in Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Settings

Antibiotic use is common in long-term care facilities (LTCF) with 70% residents receiving at least one course of systemic antibiotic every year. A significant proportion of the antibiotic use (40% to 75%) in nursing homes has been found to be unnecessary or inappropriate. Antibiotic exposure drives selection for multi-drug resistant organisms and C difficile infection. Antibiotic stewardship promotes appropriate antibiotic use and is important in… Continue Reading

Resistant CMV – Research Aimed at the Cure

  Infections due to Cytomegalovirus(CMV) remain a significant problem for patients undergoing various types of transplants, including both hematopoietic stem cell transplants and solid organ transplant, particularly since these groups both require the use of potent immunosuppressive chemotherapy. Although the currently available systemic anti-cytomegalovirus agents are usually effective, their use is limited by their toxicities, especially in transplant recipients, who receive ongoing immunosuppressive medications to… Continue Reading

Widespread use of chlorhexidine in hospitalized patients does not promote resistance in Staphylococcus aureus

Content courtesy of Dr. Rupp. Investigators from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Division of Infectious Diseases recently published reassuring data indicating that use of chlorhexidine (CHG) to bathe hospitalized patients does not lead to CHG-resistance in S. aureus.  (Marolf CT, et al Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 38:873-75, 2017). CHG is a very effective disinfectant that has been successfully utilized to prevent the… Continue Reading

Are contact isolation precautions (CP) necessary when caring for patients infected or colonized with endemic MRSA or VRE?

Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center Division of Infectious Diseases and Nebraska Medicine Department of Infection Control and Epidemiology recently published results from a two-year observational study indicating that routine use of contact isolation precautions (CP) are not needed in caring for patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). (Rupp ME, et al.  Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 38:1005-1007, 2017). The… Continue Reading