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Call for new research to slow drug-resistant diseases

September / October 2011 | Volume 10, Issue 5

New research efforts are needed to discover effective ways for managing the evolution and slowing the spread of drug-resistant diseases organisms, argues a new paper by Fogarty-supported scientists. The goal of the effort is to develop a new science-based model for drug-resistance management that will inform treatment guidelines for a wide variety of diseases, including malaria, HIV/AIDS and cancer.

The research paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), was led by Dr. Andrew Read, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University. Working with malaria-infected mice, Read said that the "current strategy of aggressive use of medications to eliminate all targeted disease pathogens paradoxically gives drug-resistant pathogens the greatest possible evolutionary advantage."

The research was supported by Fogarty’s Research and Policy for Infectious Disease Dynamics (RAPIDD) program, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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