In this K01 application, Philip Polgreen, MD, seeks to gain expertise in graph theory pertaining to social networks and in mathematical simulations for developing more effective interventions to minimize the spread of nosocomial infections (specifically influenza, MRSA, and C. difficile). Dr. Polgreen has assembled a group of extremely strong mentors and interdisciplinary collaborators who are all highly committed to his success. Healthcare associated infections affect about 2 million patients in U.S. hospitals each year. Furthermore, hospitals serve as amplifiers for the spread of infectious pathogens: patients who are infected or colonized with transmissible pathogens are often in close proximity to uninfected patients with compromised immune systems. For example, SARS did not spread much in the community but spread widely in hospitals. MRSA and C. difficile historically spread first in healthcare facilities and later in the community. Also, many infectious disease experts are concerned that the spread of H5N1 influenza or strains of vancomycin-resistant S. aureus could be magnified in hospitals. Vaccination and hand hygiene are the most effective measures for preventing the spread of hospital-acquired infections. However, no data or theoretical framework exist to identify the healthcare workers who are most likely to acquire and transmit infectious agents (i.e., those who should have the highest priority in influenza vaccine campaigns or should be the focus of programs to increase adherence with hand hygiene). In addition, the mathematical models previously used to study spread of infections in hospitals are based on the assumption that the mixing of healthcare workers and patients is homogeneous. These models ignore the social networks (clustering and small world properties) that define the true nature of the interactions between healthcare workers and patients and thus can yield misleading results. Dr. Polgreen's hypothesis is that some groups of healthcare workers are substantially more likely to spread nosocomial pathogens than are other groups. To test this hypothesis, he will collect information [from direct observation, keyboard login-data, Radio Frequency Identification Badge (RFID) data, and sensor mote data] on the contacts between healthcare workers and patients at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. This information will allow him to develop graph (social network) models that describe the spread of pathogens that are transmitted by the respiratory route (contact within 3 feet) and those spread by direct contact. He will then estimate, through mathematical simulations, how different vaccination and hand hygiene strategies in various groups of healthcare workers affect the spread of nosocomial pathogens. This work will lead to more effective infection control interventions and strategies.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
Project #
5K01AI075089-05
Application #
8242855
Study Section
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases B Subcommittee (MID)
Program Officer
Hauguel, Teresa M
Project Start
2008-04-01
Project End
2013-03-31
Budget Start
2012-04-01
Budget End
2013-03-31
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$126,630
Indirect Cost
$9,380
Name
University of Iowa
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
062761671
City
Iowa City
State
IA
Country
United States
Zip Code
52242
Gerke, Alicia K; Yang, Ming; Tang, Fan et al. (2014) Association of hospitalizations for asthma with seasonal and pandemic influenza. Respirology 19:116-21
Monsalve, Mauricio N; Pemmaraju, Sriram V; Thomas, Geb W et al. (2014) Do peer effects improve hand hygiene adherence among healthcare workers? Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 35:1277-85
Simmering, Jacob E; Polgreen, Linnea A; Cavanaugh, Joseph E et al. (2014) Are well-child visits a risk factor for subsequent influenza-like illness visits? Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 35:251-6
Fries, Jason A; Segre, Alberto M; Polgreen, Philip M (2013) Reply to Iroh Tam et Al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 34:214-5
Foster, E D; Cavanaugh, J E; Haynes, W G et al. (2013) Acute myocardial infarctions, strokes and influenza: seasonal and pandemic effects. Epidemiol Infect 141:735-44
Gerke, Alicia K; Tang, Fan; Yang, Ming et al. (2013) Predicting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease hospitalizations based on concurrent influenza activity. COPD 10:573-80
Polgreen, P M; Sparks, J D; Polgreen, L A et al. (2012) A statewide outbreak of Cryptosporidium and its association with the distribution of public swimming pools. Epidemiol Infect 140:1439-45
Polgreen, Philip M; Yang, Ming; Laxminarayan, Ramanan et al. (2011) Respiratory fluoroquinolone use and influenza. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 32:706-9
Kuntz, Jennifer L; Chrischilles, Elizabeth A; Pendergast, Jane F et al. (2011) Incidence of and risk factors for community-associated Clostridium difficile infection: a nested case-control study. BMC Infect Dis 11:194
Polgreen, Philip M; Yang, Ming; Kuntz, Jennifer L et al. (2011) Using oral vancomycin prescriptions as a proxy measure for Clostridium difficile infections: a spatial and time series analysis. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 32:723-6

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