Superbugs and flesh eating disease have a new foe
Toronto, May 4, 2000 - Health
care practitioners who battle superbugs, flesh eating disease, chicken
pox and the flu have a new tool to support them in the fight for
Mount Sinai Hospital's microbiology department has launched
a new web site for health care professionals to provide quick access
to information that will aid in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment
and surveillance of infectious diseases.
is the first web site in Canada to track and present information
on the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. "We work as a coordinating
centre for collaborative research networks. This is a time efficient
way of working with professionals to make the information available,"
says Dr. Don Low, microbiologist-in-chief for Mount Sinai Hospital
and the University Health Network.
The site is home to data from the Canadian Bacterial
Surveillance Network, the Ontario Group A Streptococcal Study and
the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Disease Network. These networks are
comprised of centres from across Canada that voluntarily provide
data and bacterial samples for epidemiological and microbiological
study, to improve the prevention and management of serious infections,
especially those related to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.
For the Canadian Bacterial Surveillance Network (CBSN),
Mount Sinai Hospital analyzes isolates from its network of hospitals
and labs and catalogues the isolates that can then be used for further
research. This allows the CBSN to act as an early warning system
and enables researchers to investigate the specific physical and
biochemical traits of particularly menacing strains.
It was information from the CBSN's database that led
to a ground breaking study published last July in the New England
Journal of Medicine. A Mount Sinai research team led by Dr. Low
determined that antibiotic resistance in Canada was growing against
the newest class of antibiotics, the fluoroquinolones.
"This important find was the result of having
the CBSN database and test samples. It allowed us to find something
no one else had found before," Dr. Low says. "This gave us the opportunity
to alert the health care community about the threat of antibiotic
resistance to this class of drugs."
The web site also provides valuable information to clinicians
and health care workers on the following items: procedures, protocols
and guidelines for antibiotic use and the prevention and treatment
of antibiotic resistance; news, events and journal articles on the
study of infectious diseases; fact sheets on a variety of infectious
diseases, outlining symptoms, methods of transmission and treatment
options; and management protocols for health care workers who may
have come into contact with such infectious diseases as HIV.
For members of the public seeking information there is
a General Interest Section that provides fact sheets and a question
and answer section on diseases including the flu, chicken pox and
Group A strep.
The web site was almost two years in the making, developed
by Karen Green, an infection control practitioner and research associate
at Mount Sinai Hospital. The site was made possible by a generous
educational grant awarded by Pfizer Canada.
"Pfizer Canada is pleased to support both the Canadian
Bacterial Surveillance Network and the Mount Sinai microbiology
web site which will make information on infectious diseases and
their treatment easily accessible to the scientific community,"
said Dr. Pierre Roland, Vice President and Medical Director of Pfizer
Canada. "Collecting solid information on resistance and ensuring
it is widely available is part of our commitment to address antibiotic
resistance on many levels and ensure antibiotics remain valuable
and useful tools in our fight against infectious diseases."
For more information contact:
Media Relations Officer
Mount Sinai Hospital