43. The Eye of the Storm

AUG 4, 202318 MIN
Contagious Conversations

43. The Eye of the Storm

AUG 4, 202318 MIN


In 2022, a mysterious outbreak of a deadly drug-resistant bacteria began spreading across several U.S. states. A CDC investigation would eventually reveal an unusual culprit: common eye drops.

In this episode, Dr. Danielle Rankin takes us behind the scenes of the investigation, sharing how they made their big break and what we've learned as a result.

Dr. Rankin is an epidemiologist for the Antimicrobial Resistance Team in the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to pursuing her PhD, she was an epidemiologist for the Florida Department of Health Healthcare Associated Infections Program. Dr. Rankin has published 28 manuscripts and throughout her career has conducted over 70 infection control assessments and investigated more than 60 domestic infectious disease outbreaks.

For full episode transcription, visit Contagious Conversations.


Key Takeaways:

[1:37] When did CDC first learn about the Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections?

[2:58] What led to discovering the bacteria transmitted through eye drops?

[4:30] What was Dr. Rankin’s first big break in this investigation?

[6:42] What do we know about this bacteria and its origin?

[8:25] Bacteria like these are constantly evolving to resist antibiotic treatment; Dr. Rankin talks about the cause of antibiotic resistance and the role of CDC in researching solutions.

[10:08] Dr. Rankin talks about the role of CDC on a global scale.

[10:39] What steps does CDC take when an outbreak like this occurs?

[12:42] Why are partnerships critical in responding to outbreaks?

[13:40] What is the outbreak investigation state currently? Do any threats remain?

[15:48] Has anything surprised Dr. Rankin about this particular outbreak?

[17:33] How is CDC preparing to meet the challenge of future outbreaks? 


Mentioned in This Episode:

CDC's Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion