ROANOKE, Va. (September 29, 2017) — Dr. Jayasimha Rao, an Associate Professor in the Biomedical Sciences Program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences and Researcher in Carilion Clinic’s Section of Infectious Diseases, led a team of students and colleagues in research that has now been published in an international journal.

Their research is entitled, “Tn2008-Driven Carbapenem-Resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii Isolates from a Period of Increased Incidence of Infections in a Southwest Virginia Hospital,” and is published in the September 2017 edition of The Journal of Global Antimicrobials and Resistance.

The objectives of this study were to determine the genetic basis for carbapenem resistance in multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strains isolated from patients affected by a sudden increase in the incidence of infections by such organisms in a tertiary care hospital in Virginia from 2009 to 2010 and to examine whether such strains are commonly encountered in the hospital setting.

All of the Jefferson College undergraduate Biomedical Sciences students involved have now graduated and are working in the area. They include Johnathon C. Childress, Michael C. Mitkos, Joshua K. Brima and Samuel N. Pearce.

Additional researchers credited in the research are Dwi Susanti, Department of Biochemistry at Virginia Tech; Anthony W. Baffoe-Bonnie, Internal Medicine/Section of Infectious Diseases, Carilion Medical Center and Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine; Dale Grgurich, Solstas Lab Partners, Roanoke Core Laboratory, Microbiology, Carilion Medical Center; Maria Jose Fernandez-Cotarelo, Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Universitario de Mostoles, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain; Thomas M. Kerkering, Hospital Infection Control, Carilion Medical Center and Professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Jefferson College of Health Sciences; and Biswarup Mukhopadhyay, Internal Medicine/Section of Infectious Diseases, Carilion Medical Center and Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry at Virginia Tech, and the Biocomplexity Institute at Virginia Tech.

This is the first time that undergraduate Biomedical Sciences students at Jefferson College of Health Sciences have earned co-authorship on a peer-reviewed paper published in an international journal. The research project was a collaborative effort between Jefferson College of Health Sciences, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Carilion Clinic’s Section of Infectious Diseases, and the Department of Biochemistry Virginia Tech, which provided superior experience in genome sequencing analysis and assembly.

You can read this research online now at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213716517301650.

To learn more about The Journal of Global Antimicrobials and Resistance, visit https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-global-antimicrobial-resistance/.

About Jefferson College of Health Sciences

Jefferson College of Health Sciences is a private higher education institution that “prepares, within a scholarly environment, ethical, knowledgeable, competent and caring healthcare professionals.”  The College focuses on providing healthcare education and is a part of Carilion Clinic. Founded in 1914 as the Jefferson Hospital School of Nursing, Jefferson College now provides more than 1,100 students with opportunities to become part of the healthcare profession, serving communities from southwest Virginia to the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. The school’s graduates are building healthier tomorrows in our region and across the country every day. More information is available at www.jchs.edu.

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