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The Fonds de la recherche en santÃ© du QuÃ©bec (FRSQ) and its partners are investing $1,230,000 (plus a service contribution valued at $260,000) to set up a Quebec consortium for research on C. difficile in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of the factors related to recent outbreaks in Quebec and find solutions to this major problem.
The objective of the Consortium is to increase our knowledge of the epidemiology and virulence factors for C. difficile infection in Quebec, Dr. Vivian Loo of the McGill University Health Centre, principal investigator for the project, explained. The scientific information we obtain will help improve the way we control C. difficile once we achieve a better understanding of the biology of this condition, make the best possible use of tools that are already available, and develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. The new knowledge developed in the framework of this project will make it possible, among other things, to improve the treatment of patients by selecting antibiotics that target the strains of the bacterium found in hospitals.
The importance of epidemiological factors, clinical factors, microbial genetic factors, and how they interact demands a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research approach, noted Dr. Alain Beaudet, president and CEO of the FRSQ. It was absolutely crucial to set up this research consortium, which is being made possible by excellent collaboration among all our partners, to try to answer the many questions that this serious public health problem continues to raise.
The FRSQs partners in this project are the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Institute of Infection and Immunity of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Health Canada, GÃ©nome QuÃ©bec, the Institut national de santÃ© publique du QuÃ©bec, and four university teaching hospitals: the Centre hospitalier de lUniversitÃ© de MontrÃ©al (CHUM), the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), the Centre hospitalier universitaire de QuÃ©bec (CHUQ), and the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS).
The research will be conducted at the four university teaching hospitals that are partners in the project, as well as at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, the Jewish General-Sir Mortimer B. Davis Hospital, McGill University, the McGill University and GÃ©nome QuÃ©bec Innovation Centre, the Institut national de santÃ© publique du QuÃ©bec, and the Ottawa Hospital. Findings are expected to be released in two years.
C. difficile is the major cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitalized patients. Since 2003, many healthcare institutions in Quebec have seen a major increase in the incidence and severity of diarrhea associated with C. difficile, as well as serious complications and mortality associated with the condition.
Source: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)