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January 17, 1996

New Group Tracks Hospitals' Drug-Resistant Bugs

JAMA. 1996;275(3):177-178. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530270017008

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FOR SEVERAL years, infectious disease specialists and public health officials have warned of the onslaught of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. But with little in the way of active, national surveillance, tracking microbial susceptibility patterns has been difficult at best. Now early findings from a new nongovernmental surveillance network confirm some fears and soothe others.

"The most serious problem we have is vancomycin-resistant enterococcus," says Richard Wenzel, MD, MSc, professor and chair of internal medicine at the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, and a director of the Surveillance and Control of Pathogens of Epidemiologic Importance (SCOPE) network.

Many of the findings "are consistent with data generated over the past decade" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Ga, adds Michael Pfaller, MD, also a SCOPE director and codirector of clinical microbiology laboratories at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Trends in Resistance Tracking  SCOPE began collecting data