CDC awards $2 million to Penn Medicine to combat AMR in Southern Africa

Dec. 29, 2021

Penn Medicine reports that they will receive more than $2 million in grants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that will allow a Penn Medicine team to further develop infrastructure and clinical capacity to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and infectious diseases in Botswana.

The grant will support Penn’s work, in collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, at multiple locations across the country through the Botswana-UPenn partnership, a 20-year collaboration between Penn’s Center for Global Health and the University of Botswana and the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness. While this grant primarily supports clinical work and capacity, the award also lays the groundwork to conduct more antimicrobial-resistance research in the years ahead.

Funding to Penn is part of a new $22 million, 50-plus country, and 28-organization total investment from the CDC to tackle antimicrobial resistance, the result of virus, bacteria, and fungi changes that leave microbes tougher to kill and harder to treat in infected patients. In order to curb antimicrobial resistance, clinicians need to track resistance mutations, monitor transmission, and better control infection spread in and out of healthcare settings.

“The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic emphasizes how interconnected we are, whether we are neighbors or on a continent an ocean away,” said Corrado Cancedda, MD, PhD, director of the Botswana-UPenn Partnership, an associate professor of Infectious Diseases, and the principal investigator (PI) of the CDC’s grant to Penn. “It’s vital to have clinicians and researchers around the world not only tracking emerging and mutating microbes but also establishing and managing infection control.”

Antimicrobial resistance, particularly antibiotic resistance, continues to be a growing problem worldwide due in part to overuse of antibiotics. More responsible antibiotic stewardship and strategies to prevent healthcare infections are just some of many interventions that can be employed to prevent further emergence of resistance.

Penn is among several organizations receiving a CDC antimicrobial-resistance grant including the University of Oxford, the World Health Organization, and Johns Hopkins University.

Penn Medicine release