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Deciphering New Frontiers: Antibiotics, Fungicides and the Fight Against Drug-Resistant Infections

Dr. Christopher Reid, a renowned professor in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, is distinguishing himself with pioneering research in the field of drug-resistant bacteria and fungi. A key area of his work involves the study of antibiotics and fungicides, insights from which could significantly improve patient care. This summer, Dr. Reid and his associates showcased their trailblazing research at both the Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (NERM 2023) and the New England Glyco-Chemistry Meeting, hosted by Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Dr. Reid’s collaborative venture with Brown University is specifically directed towards the development of fungicides, an essential tool in the fight against Candida infections. This is especially crucial for treating infections among vulnerable groups like newborns in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). The work is further bolstered by the advanced laboratory facilities and extensive statewide networking at Bryant University.

In a recent interaction with Infection Control Today®, Dr. Reid discussed his groundbreaking research, astonishing discoveries, and career advice for aspiring infection prevention professionals. His current project focuses on developing antibiotics to fight against Gram-positive pathogens and mycobacteria. His research is intended to provide solutions for drug-resistant strains like bacterial pneumonia, tuberculosis and Escherichia coli.

Dr. Reid’s innovative approach to target bacteria has led to an unexpected finding. Instead of focusing on the assembly of bacterial skeletons, his team concentrates on inhibiting enzymes involved in its breakdown. This method inhibits space creation for the expansion of the bacterial cell wall – likened to home renovation where the old material has to be removed before the addition of the new. When functioning of these proteins is compromised, it becomes difficult for the cell to manage stress, hence controlling bacterial growth.

An assortment of recent studies and activities in infection prevention are discussed throughout the article. Featured talks include the upside of an In-House Journal Watch, the initiation of the HEHSAF Tool on Clean Hospitals Day, clarification on the eligibility guidelines for the CIC Examination, INFORM and EPOCH studies revealing the serious implications of COVID-19 on immunocompromised individuals, a debate on education requirements for Infection Preventionists and understanding the impact of enhanced infection prevention measures on healthcare-associated infections.


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