Special Collaborating Institutes

Infection Control and Prevention

Comprehensive research on Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Basic, clinical and epidemiological research on drug-resistant bacteria to establish efficient guidelines.
  • Elucidation of mechanisms of resistance and propagation.
  • Simplification of examination strategies
  • Implementation of new technologies in resource-poor countries to contribute to global health.
Professor Kazunori Tomono
Infection Control and Prevention
The Laboratory of Infection Control and Prevention was founded in 2003 as part of the Osaka University Hospital and Graduate School of Medicine. The lab was opened under the supervision of Professor Ryota Shirakura. In 2008, Professor Kazunori became the head of this department.

Multilateral study of drug-resistant bacteria: Research in Japan and abroad

The spread of drug-resistant bacteria has become a major global health threat. So much so, that the 2016 G7 Ise Shima Summit included this problem in its agenda along with issues of the world economy, immigration and terrorism.

Together with the Public Health Center in Osaka Prefecture and the Osaka Prefectural Public Health Research Institute, we have revealed for the first time the large scale spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae bacteria (CRE) in regions of Japan. In order to prevent further spread, we are constructing an infection control network that includes health centers, hospitals and long-term care facilities. In addition to conducting phenotypic and genetic testing methods, we are conducting an analysis of risk factors for positive patients and based on these results are proposing measures to prevent the spread of CRE. We are one of the few laboratories that combines basic, clinical and epidemiological research with recommendations for guidelines on public health.

Drug-resistant bacteria are a more serious problem overseas than in Japan. However, because most of these countries have limited financial and human resources to study the situation, the severity of the problem is not well defined. The Research Institute for Microbial Diseases at Osaka University is working with hosptials and institutes in Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and India to study resistant bacteria. This collaboration involves the collection of resistant bacteria, genetic analysis and patient analysis with the intention of making recommendations for public hygiene and new methods to study local trends. In our study of resistant bacteria, we are clarifying the molecular pathways for propagation and resistance by plasmid analysis, SNP analysis, etc. using next-generation sequencers. In addition, we are using two methods, STH-PAS (Single Tag Hybridization Printed Array Strip) and LAMP (Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification), to amplify gene levels. These methods are intended to be simple and cheap, making them accessible to developing countries. We are also conducting clinical research in collaboration with local medical staffs to survey medical sites and nosocomial infections. Beyond the framework of research, these projects are designed to improve local public health and prevent the spread of resistant bacteria globally.