Institute for Public Health
MSC 09 5065
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Family Practice Center 137

Karen Armitage, MD

Leigh Caswell, MPH
Operations Coordinator

Telephone: (505) 272-5377
Fax: (505) 272-3764

Institute for Public Health

Emerging Infections Program

The Emerging Infections Programs (EIPs) is a population-based network of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) working collaboratively with state health departments, public health laboratories, clinical laboratories, infection control practitioners, healthcare providers, academic institutions, and other federal agencies to assess the public health impact of emerging infections, monitor infections of public health relevance, and determine the effectiveness of prevention and control programs. The EIP network is a national resource for surveillance, prevention, and control of emerging infectious diseases. EIP activities go beyond the routine functions of health departments in ways that allow important public health questions to be answered:

  • Addressing the most important issues in infectious diseases and selecting projects that the EIP network is particularly suited to investigate
  • Maintaining sufficient flexibility for emergency response and addressing new problems as they arise
  • Developing, evaluating, and ultimately transferring what is learned to public health agencies
  • Incorporating training as a key function of EIP activities
  • Assigning high priority to projects that lead directly to the prevention of disease

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center’s Institute for Public Health collaborate to form the New Mexico Emerging Infections Program (NMEIP). NMEIP consists of three core surveillance projects.

1) New Mexico Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs)
The ABCs program collects surveillance data on five invasive bacterial pathogens: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, group A Streptococcus (GAS) and group B Streptococcus (GBS). The purpose of the ABCs program is 1) To determine the incidence and epidemiologic characteristics of invasive disease due to Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, group A streptococcus, group B streptococcus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in several large populations; 2) To determine molecular epidemiologic patterns and microbiologic characteristics of public health relevance for isolates causing the above invasive infections, such as the proportion of pneumococcal isolates that are drug-resistant among all invasive strains; and 3) To provide an infrastructure for additional special studies, including those aimed at identifying risk factors for disease and evaluating prevention policies.

2) Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet)
FoodNet is a collaborative project among the CDC, ten EIP sites, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FoodNet is the principal sentinel network producing accurate national estimates of the burden and sources of specific foodborne diseases in the United States. Enhanced surveillance and investigation are integral parts of developing and evaluating new prevention and control strategies designed to improve food safety and health and decrease the number of cases of foodborne diseases that occur in the United States each year. FoodNet collects surveillance data on nine enteric pathogens: Salmonella, Yersinia, Shiga toxin producing E. coli, Vibrio, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Shigella, Cyclospora and Listeria, and one syndrome, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

3) Respiratory Diseases Activities (RDA)
RDA focuses primarily on the study of influenza as well as conducting active, population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed influenza-related hospitalizations in adults and children.

Ongoing NMEIP Research Interests

  • Unusual Antibiotic Resistance in Enteric Pathogens in a variety of meats.
  • Studies of E. coli O157:H7 Infection and associated risk factors and related conditions
  • Studies of Influenza vaccine effectiveness in adults and children.
  • Tetravalent Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine Effectiveness Among Persons Aged 11-19 Years