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Linking Genomics and Epidemiology: A Revolutionary Approach to Understand and Combat Hospital-Acquired Infections

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has partnered with the health technology firm, Solu, to embark on a groundbreaking collaboration in the fight against hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). This partnership aims to delve deeper into the epidemiological understanding of HAIs and comprehend the elusive aspect of antibiotic resistance. A chief attribute of HAIs includes their frequent resistance to antibiotics, posing an arduous task in understanding the risk of their transmission. HAIs cause a chain reaction of adversities including prolonged hospital stays, escalated costs, compromised staff safety, and a degradation of patient care standards – occasionally even culminating in fatal outcomes. The World Health Organization asserts that, antibiotic-resistant HAIs are twice or thrice as likely to result in fatalities.

Solu, a front-runner in the application of microbial genome sequencing for the analysis and management of HAIs, offers an end-to-end solution as part of their services. They significantly enhance traditional techniques of investigations by gathering and dissecting data through genome sequencing, which expedites the analysis process of samples. Partnering with external laboratories, Solu is able to deliver conclusive results and insights in a minimal span of three days. This is starkly better than the traditional approach which can take up to two weeks. The data procured from Solu’s platform will provide epidemiologists with a holistic understanding of HAIs, augmenting the capacity to detect and prevent HAIs.

Under the scope of this study, the focus is placed on Carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacilli, Mycobacterium abscessus complex, and Candida auris. Both entities, Cedars-Sinai and Solu, aim to achieve a broad epidemiologic and genomic characterization, investigate any correlation between antibiotic resistance and clinical outcomes, and explore the similarity of certain isolates.


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