ASM announces $20 million diagnostic competition

The Chair of the American Society for Microbiology's (ASM) Public and Scientific Affair Board Ronald Atlas announced Friday that there will be a prize competition for diagnostics for antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

This competition was originally announced by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) and the prize of up to $20 million is sponsored by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the National Institutes of Health.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists 18 drug-resistant diseases that have the potential to pose a threat to the U.S. Those within higher categories of concern require higher levels of prevention and monitoring activity. Within the urgent threat category are three bacteria: Clostridium Difficile (C. diff.), Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. They are placed here due to the difficulty in treating them and, in the case of C. diff., can be highly fatal with approximately 14,000 deaths annually.

The ASM notice states there will be a public consultation Oct. 7 at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina in California. Written comments may be submitted to the website from Oct. 1-6.

The need for these diagnostic techniques is addressed in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria that was released in March.

The ASM’s mission is to gain a better understanding of basic life processes and to promote the application of this knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

Organizations in this Story

American Society for Microbiology National Institutes of Health

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