CDC Awards Grant to Tennessee Emerging Infections Program

March 19, 2024
The program, which is a partnership between Vanderbilt and state departments of health, has yielded important surveillance data regarding influenza and HPV

The CDC have awarded a new five-year grant to the Tennessee Emerging Infections Program (EIP) in order to continue infectious disease surveillance research conducted there since 1999.

The EIP program includes “more than 20 facility and staff at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC)” and works alongside the Tennessee Department of Health and “surveillance programs in departments of health in 10 U.S. states.” Recently, its purview has expanded to include “COVID, Mpox and HIV surveillance into oropharyngeal cancers.” The program will also be “participating in new data modernization activities, which have been required by the CDC.”

The EIP program “conducts surveillance of many infectious diseases from foodborne pathogens to influenza and other respiratory infections like RSV and COVID-19.” That data is then relayed to the CDC, where it plays a direct role in “establishing national public health policy.” For example, “critical characteristics of annual influenza epidemics are defined by EIP surveillance,” including the “age distribution of the affected population, the severity of the illness, and the dominant influenza strains.”

Serious pneumococcal and meningococcal infections have been surveilled by the program as well, informing “revisions of vaccine recommendations.” HPV surveillance conducted by the program has “reinforced the importance of routine immunization of adolescents.”

Vanderbilt University’s website has the news release.