Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

The DCRI's Infectious Disease research group is composed of key opinion leaders, site investigators, and faculty who are practicing infectious-disease physicians. We stand ready with insights and innovative research methods needed to understand and defeat infectious diseases.

Research Driven by the Needs of a Global Community

While infectious diseases may sometimes have distant origins, their impact often creates a critical need for a global response. The DCRI works quickly through an integrated network of sites, investigators, and patient registries around the world. With a faculty of practicing infectious-disease physicians, we provide unparalleled experience and efficiency in the design and coordination of infectious disease trials.

Our Infectious Diseases team has been hard at work for more than a decade, conducting more than 250 Phase I–IV adaptive and multicenter trials throughout the world, as well as supporting numerous prominent networks, registries, and other research projects.

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Operational Excellence

Our therapeutically-aligned clinical operations group includes project teams trained in infectious disease by Duke faculty. We have long-standing relationships with key global opinion leaders and sites, and have successfully coordinated ID studies with more than 10,000 patients enrolled across 800 global sites.

The DCRI’s Infectious Disease operations team works with a robust network of sites to leverage capabilities and enhance efficient enrollment across a variety of ID studies. Led by the DCRI, the ID Research Network includes about 200 sites, 116 of which have a Rapid Start Network Agreement in place. Other partnerships include:

  • Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON)
  • Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health
  • International Collaboration on Endocarditis (ICE)
  • NICHD Neonatal Research Network
  • Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteremia Group (SABG)
Our Clinical Research Expertise
  • Adult and pediatric vaccines
  • Complicated skin and skin structure infection
  • Emerging infections
  • Fungal infections: cryptococcus, aspergillus, candida
  • GI-related infections
  • HIV infection/AIDS
  • Hospital-acquired/ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Infectious endocarditis
  • Neonatal infectious diseases
  • Nosocomial infections
  • Pediatric infectious diseases
  • Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia
  • Transplant infections
  • Tuberculosis

DCRI's Coronavirus Response

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The study of infectious disease threats is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, as researchers seek to combat the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

One of the ways the DCRI is responding is through the HERO research program, which seeks to understand the risks facing healthcare workers on the front lines and identify strategies to protect them.

Learn more about the DCRI’s and Duke’s COVID-19 response:

ARLG: Combatting Antibacterial Resistance

As antibiotic-resistant bacteria become more urgent threats worldwide, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health renewed funding for up to $102.5 million over seven years for the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG). The DCRI houses the ARLG Clinical and Operations Center.

This renewal funding in 2019 will allow the ARLG network to continue and enhance its mission to prioritize, design, and execute clinical research to reduce the public health threat of antibacterial resistance.

Established in 2013, the ARLG is composed of more than 50 leading experts working together to innovate clinical trial design, inform guidelines, and improve clinical practice in infectious diseases. It has established collaborations in 19 countries and has initiated more than 40 clinical research studies involving more than 20,000 patients across more than 130 sites. 

The ARLG's three prioritized areas of research align with the CDC's antibiotic resistance threats and include: 

  • Infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli;
  • Infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus; and
  • Diagnostics such as rapid point-of-care tests to detect drug resistance, guide antibacterial therapy, and support clinical trials.

Sharing Easy-to-Understand Results

ARLG recently released lay summaries describing research results that use plain language and are in a format that is easy to read. Please share the following with patients, research staff, and colleagues:

DICON: Controlling Hospital-Borne Infections

The Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON) is part of DCRI’s Infectious Disease group. It is a consortium of over 60 hospitals and outpatient surgery centers in six states, ranging from small community hospitals to large regional medical centers. Additionally, it has 12,000 occupied beds and 45,000 employees.

DICON provides its members with sophisticated data analysis and metrics, access to experts in infection control, opportunities to share successful programs, and extensive educational initiatives related to infection prevention. The network has amassed a database of more than 1.9 million surgical procedures and more than 30.6 million patient-days of demographic, treatment, and outcomes information.

A wealth of data has been made available by DICON to speed and improve trial design. The consortium has had significant and substantial impact on reducing the risk of postsurgical, device-related, and bloodstream infections, as well as helping to reduce the risk of blood and body-fluid exposures for employees in DICON-affiliated hospitals.

Infectious Diseases Leadership at the DCRI

Susanna Naggie, MD, MHS, Director

susanna-naggie-newsSusanna Naggie is an infectious diseases specialist and assistant professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center. Her primary research interest is the care of HIV/HCV co-infected individuals.

She is responsible for two multidisciplinary HIV/HCV co-infection clinics, one at Duke University and one at the Durham VA Medical Center. She is currently the principal investigator on several clinical trials of direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of HCV in HIV-infected patients. She also serves as virologic and medical monitor for clinical trials for the treatment of HCV at the DCRI. She currently serves as co-chair of the International Antiviral Society-USA’s Viral Hepatitis Committee and is a member of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the International AIDS Society.

She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University. She also received a master’s of health sciences degree from Duke.