PRISM Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

In collaboration with Hartford Hospital/Hartford Healthcare, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and UConn Health; we have a unique strength in Antimicrobial Stewardship and Selecting Optimal Therapy in Infectious Diseases. Infectious diseases continue to cause significant illness and death throughout our society. Of particular concern is the emergence of bacteria resistant to many and sometimes all of our currently available antibiotics. Antimicrobial Stewardship is the practice of optimizing the use of anti-infectives (e.g. antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals) with the goal of preventing antimicrobial resistance, improving outcomes for patients, and decreasing healthcare costs. Specific activities include: selecting appropriate antimicrobials, preventing misuse and overuse, adjusting dosage and administration method based on patient characteristics, reducing unnecessarily long durations of therapy, preventing infections by promoting vaccinations, and collaborative efforts to discover new antimicrobials. Our faculty (Drs. Aeschlimann, Girotto and Nailor) have unique strengths in Antimicrobial Stewardship practice, teaching, and research. They have partnered with Hartford Hospital/Hartford Healthcare, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and UConn Health to lead multidisciplinary antimicrobial stewardship programs. Drs. Girotto and Nailor direct pharmacist post-graduate year 2 training programs with emphasis on antimicrobial stewardship.  Drs. Aeschlimann and Nailor also collaborate with members of our Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences to help perform research towards the discovery and optimization of new antimicrobials to combat resistant bacteria. Wright Lab

Provision of immunizations as a method of preventing the infectious diseases is essential in an era where there are fewer antimicrobials available to treat active infections. Dr. Girotto has worked with Dr. Fitzgerald and Professor Buckley to provide education on immunizations not only to our pharmacy students, but also to thousands of pharmacists in the form of initial training, continuing education efforts, and in publishing reviews.

Publications in this area include:

Dassner AM, Girotto JE.  Evaluation of a second-sign process for antimicrobial prior authorization.  J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 2017 Apr 12. doi: 10.1093/jpids/pix015. [Epub ahead of print]

Newland JG, Gerber JS, Kronman MP, Meredith G, Lee BR, et al.  Sharing antimicrobial reports for pediatric stewardship (SHARPS): A quality improvement collaborative.  J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2017 Apr 4. doi: 10.1093/jpids/pix020. [Epub ahead of print]

Nichols K, Stoffella S, Meyers R, Girotto J; Advocacy committee for the Pediatric Pharmacy Group.  Pediatric antimicrobial stewardship programs. J Pediatr Pharmaol Ther.  2017; 22 (1):77-80.

Nichols K, Girotto J, Steele AM, Stofella S; Advocacy committee for the Pediatric Pharmacy Group.  Duty to advocate: Human Papilomavirus vaccination.  J Pediatr Pharmaol Ther.  2017; 22 (1):74-76.

Courter JD, Nichols KR, Kazazian C, Girotto JE.  Pharmacodynamically guided levofloxacin dosing for pediatric community-acquired pneumonia.   J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2017 Jun 1;6 (2):118-122.

Welsh C, Miah R, Girotto J.  Survey evaluating the practice of children’s hospitals having pharmacist collaborative drug therapy management protocols.  J Pediatr Pharmaol Ther.  2016; 21 (6):494-501.

Dassner AM, Nicolau DP, Girotto JE.  Management of pneumonia in the pediatric critical care unit: an area for antimicrobial stewardship.  Curr Pediatr Rev 2016 Dec 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Liang C, Girotto J.  Influenza immunization update: 2016-2017.  Pharmacy Journal of New England Summer 2016: 24-26.

Goodlet KJ, Girotto JE.  Optimal vaccine administration for patients undergoing chemotherapy.  Conn Med 2016 80 (5); 305-311.

Magsarili HK, Girotto JE, Bennett NJ, Nicolau DP.  Making a case for pediatric antimicrobial stewardship programs.  Pharmacotherapy 2015; 35 (11):1026-1036.

Dassner A, Girotto JE.  Important Updates for Influenza Vaccination: 2015-2016.  Pharmacy Journal of New England. 2015;12 (4):19-20.

Funded grant projects in this area include:

Aeschlimann JR, Reeve S, and Wright D. “Determining the Prevalence of Newly Described Trimethoprim Resistance Elements in United States Clinical Isolates of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).” ($49,458. Funding Source: UConn Research Excellence Program 2017-18.)

Bennett N, Girotto J, Waynik I.  Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.  ($35,000 Funding Source: Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Friends 2015 – Adopt-A-Program)