Pathogen Surveillance

The Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology has established a hospital-wide Pathogen Surveillance Program (PSP) led by a multidisciplinary investigative team with a background in infectious disease, epidemiology, statistical modeling, and analyzing pathogen genomes and microbiomes. The PSP aims to use whole-genome sequencing as a means to understand the molecular basis of evolution and transmission of infectious diseases, host-pathogen interactions, and to identify novel pathogens. 

Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) such as MRSA and C. difficile pose a ubiquitous, insidious, and potentially fatal threat to patients across the country. The Centers for Disease Control estimate HAIs account for roughly 1.7 million serious infections every year in the United States and cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths annually with a greater burden in immunocompromised hosts. We anticipate that a better understanding of the role of genetic diversity in bacterial infections will result in improved patient care and outcomes.

The goal of the group is to apply advanced whole genome sequencing to clinical bacterial isolates in order to:

  • Build a baseline census or “background of diversity” for clinical pathogens of major importance
  • Identify potential increases in infection rates to impact Infection Control Unit resource utilization
  • Combine big data and electronic health records (EHR) mining with whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis to accurately depict bacterial epidemiological trends and improve the understanding of healthcare-associated infections (HAI)
  • To partner with others throughout the hospital system to enable real time access to an integrated synopsis of relevant data to share with patients and providers and have a positive impact on patient health
  • For more information please visit the pages of some of our participating laboratories:

Dr. Harm van Bakel
http://bakellab.mssm.edu/

Dr. Ali Bashir
http://research.mssm.edu/bashir/

Dr. Gang Fang
http://research.mssm.edu/fanglab/

The Clinical Microbiology Laboratory 
http://icahn.mssm.edu/research/labs/laboratory-medicine/clinical-laboratories/microbiology 

The Transplant Infectious Diseases Program  
http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/service-areas/infectious-diseases/transplant-infectious-diseases-programs 

The Division of Infectious Diseases
http://icahn.mssm.edu/about/departments/medicine/infectious-disease