LOS ANGELES – (May 13, 2014) – Loren Miller, MD, a Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) lead researcher, is the senior author of a published study that will receive the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Award for Publication Excellence at its annual conference in Anaheim on June 7.
With more than 15,000 members, APIC is the leading professional association seeking to create a safer world through the prevention of infection. Each year, the organization honors the authors who have published an article in the American Journal of Infection Control, which was widely read and cited during the previous year and has the potential to make an important impact on the practice of infection prevention and control.
The study the organization is honoring on June 7 measured the transmission and survival of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), which are bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics and can cause serious skin infections.
"Congratulations to Dr. Miller and his colleagues for this recognition of their important research on one of the nation's leading health threats, CA-MRSA," said David I. Meyer, PhD, LA BioMed president and CEO. "Dr. Miller's important research is representative of the cutting-edge work underway at LA BioMed in the field of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance. Through the research of Dr. Miller and his colleagues, we are seeking new paths for combating antibiotic resistance and improving healthcare practices to avoid the spread of MRSA and other bacteria."
In the study APIC honored, researchers applied the most common strain of CA-MRSA, USA300, to nine commonly touched items, including razor blades, children's building blocks, towels, vinyl and bars of soap. The bacteria survived and could be transmitted to the skin from each of these surfaces – except for the soap. Over time, the transmissibility of CA-MRSA decreased more rapidly from porous objects, such as the towels, than from nonporous objects, such as the vinyl. The transmissibility from nonporous objects remained even after two months, suggesting these surfaces are important in the transmission of these virulent bacteria.
The researchers compared these findings with a similar test using three health-care associated strains of MRSA and found the CA-MRSA strain was transmissible for longer periods of time.
In addition to his work at LA BioMed, Dr. Miller serves as the Director of the Infection Prevention and Control Program at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He serves as a faculty member in the Division of Adult Infectious Diseases at Harbor-UCLA and as a Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Dr. Miller's primary research interests include clinical outcomes, epidemiology and molecular epidemiology of CA-MRSA infections and skin infections. He has been an investigator and principal investigator on many National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality grants related to treatment and prevention of MRSA and CA-MRSA. Dr. Miller is an author on more than 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters.
The other award recipients and co-authors of the paper are: Rishi Desai, MD, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (current affiliation: Khan Academy); Pia S. Pannaraj, MD, and Jaclyn Agopian, BA, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California; Catherine A Sugar, PhD, UCLA School of Public Health, and George Y. Liu, MD, PhD, Cedars Sinai Health System.
About LA BioMed
Founded in 1952, LA BioMed is one of the country's leading nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It has approximately 100 principal researchers conducting studies into inherited diseases, infectious diseases, illnesses caused by environmental factors and more. It also educates young scientists and provides community services, including prenatal counseling and childhood nutrition programs. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. For more information, please visit http://www.LABioMed.org
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