The recent outbreaks of pan-resistant Candida auris and the alarming effects on health care facilities have brought to the forefront the challenges of combating drug-resistant pathogens. Since the typical treatment for Candida infections and most C. auris infections are echinocandins, the mounting evidence of cases tripling for resistant strains over the last few years is concerning. With some current strains being resistant to all three available classes of antifungals, there is an urgent need for development of new therapies as infections can be most threatening to those already at-risk from other comorbidities such as COVID-19. At IITRI, we are in the process of acquiring multiple isolates of C. auris to make available for testing the efficacy of new or repurposed drugs.

As a leading provider of infectious disease contract research services, our aim is to be at the forefront of emerging pathogens as COVID-19, monkeypox, Zika, new circulating strains of influenza or RSV, antibiotic resistant bacteria (i.e., superbugs) like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or fungi like C. auris. We are highly experienced in handling infectious agents that are potential bioterrorism agents when aerosolized as well, such as Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) and Yersinia pestis (plague) in animal challenge studies. Beyond aerosol exposure of pathogens, we also have the capability of generating aerosols of powders, liquids and suspensions for delivery of therapeutics by inhalation.

In addition to our extensive collection of infectious disease animal models, our in vitro assay support services are available to fully characterize animal challenge studies or clinical trial samples. We offer assay development, validation and performance verification for both non-GLP and GLP-compliant assays as needed. This is a great starting place for testing new antivirals or antifungals against emerging biological threats. We are also one of the very few labs in the U.S. that offers GLP-compliant BSL-2 and BSL-3 facilities for infectious disease preclinical studies using select agents.

 

If you’d like to discuss our capabilities in more detail, reach out to us anytime and we’ll set up a call to discuss with our PhD study directors.