Monday, May 27, 2013

Professor Ernesto Abel-Santos on C-Diff 30,000 Deaths & 500,000 Infections - August 29, 2012

Dr. Ernesto Abel-Santos
C-Diff is highly contagious. A new strain is very aggressive and toxic. Many  antibiotics increase the chance of infection.
Dr. Ernesto Abel-Santos is working on a way to combat C-Diff.
  Date: Wednesday, Aug 29th
  Place: McCormick & Schmicks
  335 Hughes Parkway
  Time: Check-in 11:30, Lunch 12 noon
  $30. RSVP here.
(UNLV Researchers & students no cost)

Dr. Ernesto Abel-Santos received a Ph.D. in Bio-organic Chemistry at Washington University School of Medicine in 1997. In 1997, Dr. Abel-Santos moved to the PennsylvaniaState University to carry out postdoctoral studies investigating DNA polymerase function. Simultaneously, Dr. Abel-Santos developed a genetic system to produce biosynthetic cyclic peptides (SICLOPPS). In 2001, Dr. Abel-Santos became an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he continued to develop and apply the SICLOPPS Technology to find novel antibiotic targets. He also started studies on inhibitors of anthrax spore germination. Since 2006, Dr. Abel-Santos has been an Associate Professor of Chemistry at UNLV.

Baby Mia caught  C-Diff 8 times at the hospital
The development of C-Diff is strongly associated with use of particular antibiotics, especially quinolones and clindamycin, which kill "good" intestinal bacteria along with "bad" ones, leading to overgrowth of C-Diff. Patients who report a history of penicillin allergy are much more likely to be treated with quinolones and clindamycin because their antibiotic choices are limited.

The Face of C-Diff

USAToday reported on the story of Baily Quishenberry who contracted C-Diff a few days after surgery for a brain tumor. The 14-year-old was writhing in pain from the infection, her abdomen had swollen 10 times its normal size with a high fever. She had contracted a potentially fatal infection of Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, that ravages the intestines. The bacteria preys on people in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities. According to USA Today the bacteria is linked to 30,000 deaths a year and it strikes about a half-million Americans a year.

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