NARSA PRESS RELEASES
Table Of Contents
September 23, 2003
Contact: CDC, Division of Media Relations
CDC awards $3 million
for study of community-associated
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA)
universities will receive grants from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention to conduct research into community-associated methicillin resistant
Stapylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA).
Approximately $3 million will be distributed to the institutions over
the next three years to examine such issues as the bacteria?s genetic
characteristics, characteristics of patients? illnesses and outcomes, and the
mechanisms of infection and disease.
concerned about the increasing reports of community-associated MRSA. Controlling the spread of MRSA is a high
priority in our efforts to prevent antimicrobial resistance. We are committed to supporting new applied
research to the study of MRSA in the community, and we are excited to be able
to fund these grants,? said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding.
grants will be Columbia University, Harbor-UCLA Research & Education
Institute, the University of California at San Francisco, and the University of
Chicago. The grant recipients will
assemble groups of investigators with the expertise to address the key clinical
and public health questions surrounding the spread of the disease. They will collect data to help define risk
factors for infection and methods of treatment.
funding will help us understand more about strains of MRSA causing disease in
the community. By characterizing these
strains of CA-MRSA, we can enhance national and local prevention efforts,? said
Dr. James M. Hughes, director of CDC?s National Center for Infectious Diseases.
investigators and their projects are: Columbia University. ?Prevalence of Community-MRSA in Northern
Manhattan.? Principal Investigator:
Franklin Lowy. Investigators will use
surveys to examine the prevalence and correlates (TRANSLATE) of CA-MRSA. They will examine isolates of MRSA using a
variety of molecular techniques and examine the isolates for virulence.
Research & Education Institute. ?Clinical,
Epidemiologic and Molecular Descriptions of Epidemic CA-MRSA.? Principal Investigator: Loren G.
Miller. Working in Los Angeles,
investigators will evaluate risk factors for CA-MRSA among adults and children,
characterize isolates through molecular typing, and analyze clinical
characteristics associated with infection with CA-MRSA.
of California, San Francisco. ?Molecular
Epidemiology of Community MRSA.?
Principal Investigator: Henry F. Chambers. A group of physicians will collect MRSA isolates and associated
information about infected patients in San Francisco. Isolates will be examined using various molecular techniques, and
investigators will study evolutionary relationships among MRSA isolates.
of Chicago. ?Community-Associated MRSA.? Principal Investigator: Robert S. Daum. Investigators will study clinical,
epidemiological, and molecular characteristics of CA-MRSA in Chicago; Bethel,
AK; Dallas; and Taiwan. Isolates of
MRSA will be analyzed using a variety of molecular techniques and assessed for
information about community-associated MRSA, visit CDC?s web site at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/hip/ARESIST/mrsa_comm_faq.htm
CDC protects people?s health and
safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health
decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and
promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
September 26, 1999
CONTACT: Melanie Bossi
PHONE: (703) 480-2515
INTERNET ACCESSIBLE NETWORK ON ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE IN
STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS COMING SOON
National Institute of Health and MRL Pharmaceutical Convene First Annual Meeting on New Network on
Antimorobial Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus
At the first annual meeting to launch the Network on Antimicrobial Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus,
or NARSA initiative, held Sept. 9-10, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and MRL Pharmaceutical
Services of Herndon, Va., a division of Focus/MRL, Inc., got a jump start on planning an development on the new network.
At the meeting, an expert panel of researchers conferred about the structure and operating procedures of NARSA that
is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.
NARSA is a network developed by MRL Pharmaceutical for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
(NIAID) to coordinate research focusing on antimicrobial resistance among Staphylococcus aureus (SA), a common
cause of bacterial infections that can be life threatening. Strains of Staphylococcus aureus have emerged that
exhibit reduced susceptibility to vancomycin, the remaining drug of choice used to treat multi-drug resistant
Staphylococcus aureus infections. Through a wide range of leading-edge communication tools NARSA will facilitate
communication and establish a Network of approximately 36 NIAID-funded investigators ("Core NARSA Investigators"), staff
from NIAID and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other basic scientists, epidemiologists, and clinical
investigators whose research focuses on Staphylococcus aureus. NARSA will provide information and resources to
immunologists, microbiologists, and other researchers that can have a direct and timely impact on monitoring,
understanding, and ultimately controlling multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
The Network will be linked through a web site and will be designed to facilitate information sharing pertaining
to public health concerns of emerging strains of Staphylococcus aureus with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin
and other Staphylococcal strains of public health interest. The NARSA program supports not only electronic
information sharing but also supports the development of national Registry of cases of infections due to Staphylococcus
aureus with reduced susceptibility or resistance to vancomycin and a Repository of well-characterized isolates of
Staphylococcus aureus from these cases, including a mechanism for sharing and distributing the isolates. Sharing
isolates and information through a Network will help locate and identify strains on interest previously undetected, and
allows these unique isolates to be effectively provided to researchers.
The NARSA internet web site is expected to be available by the end of the year.
Back to top
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 1999
CONTACT: Melanie Bossi
MRL PHARMACEUTICAL SERVICES AWARDED CONTRACT TO
ESTABLISH NETWORK TO TRACK ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
Launches Network on Antimicrobial Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus
Herndon, VA ? MRL Pharmaceutical Services of Herndon, Va., a division of Focus/MRL, Inc., has received
a seven-year, $3.6 million National Institutes of Health contract to establish a network for tracking antimicrobial
resistance among Staphylococcus aureus (SA), a common cause of bacterial infections that are often life-threatening.
The company will work with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop and maintain the "
Network on Antimicrobial Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus," or NARSA.
Developing NARSA is one part of NIAID?s aggressive actions to better understand and slow resistance of SA to the drug
vancomycin ? long considered a powerful weapon against SA infections. But SA strains are being found and reported that show
intermediate-level resistance to vancomycin. NARSA, therefore, is designed to link investigators ? including basic
scientists, clinical microbiologists and clinical investigators ? studying these microorganisms.
"By relying on MRL?s combined expertise in microbiology and Internet technology, NARSA will provide information and
resources that can have a direct and timely impact on monitoring, understanding, and hopefully controlling resistance,"
said MRL Chief Scientific Officer Daniel F. Sahm, Ph.D. "Linking all NIAID investigators working in this field and
supplying them with important information at the same time represents the first widespread initiative of this type to help
the entire scientific community find answers."
As the NARSA contractor, MRL will:
- Establish and maintain communication links with all NARSA investigators and the NIAID;
- Develop and maintain an Internet website and electronic bulletin board;
- Evaluate and compare susceptibility testing methods;
- Establish and maintain a registry of cases with documented infections due to SA with intermediate susceptibility and
resistance to vancomycin;
- Establish and maintain a repository of isolates from these cases for distribution to NARSA investigators;
- Confirm the identity and determine the purity of the isolates;
- Grow additional quantities of cultures of important isolates;
- Maintain a database and computerized inventory of the isolates;
- Conduct analyses of these data;
- Collaborate and coordinate with other NIAID components addressing the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, and establish
liaison with other public as well as professional society and industry-supported efforts in this area; and
- Organize annual meetings of all investigators.
MRL has been committed to the diagnosis, tracking, and management of infectious disease for more than 20 years. In 1993,
a new division, MRL Pharmaceutical Services, was formed to provide government, industry, medical and public health
professionals with independent, objective, and reliable information concerning the global occurrence, incidence and
emergence of antimicrobial resistance. MRL successfully merged microbiological expertise and information technology
to create an innovative electronic approach to antimicrobial resistance surveillance known as The Surveillance Network
TM Database (TSNTM Database), that collects antimicrobial susceptibility data daily. More than 200
hospitals and laboratories in the United States provide the data, in order to provide high-quality, objective, real-time
information that advances the prevention and control of antimicrobial drug resistance. TSNTM Databases are
currently under development in Canada, Australia and Europe; during 1999 and 2000, additional expansion is planned in Asia
and Latin America.
The NARSA project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases, National Institutes of Health, under contract No. N01-AI-95359. Approximately 99 percent of the total costs of
this project will be funded with Federal money, and approximately 1 percent of the total costs of this project will be
financed by MRL Pharmaceutical Services, a division of Focus/MRL, Inc.
Back to top