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SEVERAL INSTITUTIONS have volunteered to become part of a new effort to keep antibiotic-resistant organisms from becoming a 20th-century version of long-past plagues. Starting January 1, a program called Surveillance and Control of Pathogens of Epidemiologic Importance (SCOPE) went into effect.
This national network is designed to track resistant pathogens and be an early-warning system for the health care community. It was set up by the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, in collaboration with Lederle Laboratories, Wayne, NJ.
The objective is to help hospitals control resistant infections by identifying them early. SCOPE is the largest nongovernmental surveillance program and the first combined effort of industry, academe, and hospitals to track microbial resistance. Data collected at 48 sentinel hospitals will be used for nationwide projections and identification of newly resistant strains.
A system such as this is badly needed, says Richard P. Wenzel, MD, director of general medicine
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