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University of Wisconsin-Madison

Berti and Legenza awarded grants to present antibiotic resistance research

Andrew Berti, Pharmacotherapy Research Fellow (left), and Laurel Legenza, Comparative Health System Global Pharmacy Fellow (right).
Andrew Berti, Pharmacotherapy Research Fellow (left), and Laurel Legenza, Comparative Health System Global Pharmacy Fellow (right).

Andrew Berti, Pharmacotherapy Research Fellow and Laurel Legenza, Comparative Health System Global Pharmacy Fellow, will present their most recent antibiotic resistance research at the 2016 Making a Difference in Infectious Diseases (MAD-ID) meeting in Orlando, Florida. 

Berti will present his work investigating genetic mechanisms leading to resistance to the antibiotic daptomycin conducted in the lab of Warren Rose, associate professor (CHS) in the Pharmacy Practice Division. Daptomycin is used clinically to treat serious infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Andrew has discovered nine genes in S. aureus which, when mutated, contribute to daptomycin resistance. However, the effects of some of these mutations only become apparent when introduced into strains that already possess “classical” daptomycin resistance mutations, underscoring the sequential nature and combinatorial complexity of resistance development in S. aureus.

Legenza, also working under the mentorship of Warren Rose and Susanne Barnett, associate professor (CHS) in the Pharmacy Practice Division, will present her work investigating current antibiotic stewardship culture and use of antibiotic resistance data in practice. Legenza conducted a series of semi-structured interviews with stakeholders (infectious disease physicians, fellows, residents, a nurse practitioner, and student) over 4 weeks to identify perceptions of current antibiotic resistance patterns and practical use of antibiotic resistance data. A survey, informed by the interview themes, will be sent to prescribing physicians across Wisconsin. Survey results will be used to determine if the creation of a statewide interactive antibiotic resistance database is an appropriate approach for quality improvement, to improve access and usability of AMR data locally.

Both Berti and Legenza were selected for MAD-ID Trainee Travel Grants to attend the meeting. MAD-ID is a non-profit organization committed to providing pharmacists and other health care professionals continuing education in infectious disease pharmacotherapy. Membership is open to all health care providers, students, and post graduate trainees interested in infectious disease. The annual meeting is the primary venue for their educational initiatives. The 2016 Annual Meeting educational symposium will focus on applying recent research to patient care and antimicrobial stewardship.