Introduction: The Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program's (IDCRP) Emerging Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance (EIDAR) Research Area is a Department of Defense (DoD) clinical research capability that is responsive and adaptive to emerging infectious disease (EID) threats to US military readiness. Among active-duty and other Military Health System (MHS) beneficiaries, EIDAR research is largely focused on evaluating the incidence, risk factors, and acute- and long-term health effects of military-relevant EIDs, especially those caused by high-consequence pathogens or are responsible for outbreaks among US military populations. The EIDAR efforts also address Force Health Protection concerns associated with antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship practices within the MHS. Methods: The EIDAR studies utilize the approach of: (1) Preparing for emergent conditions to systematically collect clinical specimens and data and conduct clinical trials to assist the military with a scientifically appropriate response; and (2) Evaluating burden of emergent military-relevant infectious diseases and assessing risks for exposure and development of post-infectious complications and overall impact on military readiness. Results: In response to the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa, the IDCRP partnered with the National Institutes of Health in developing a multicenter, randomized safety and efficacy study of investigational therapeutics in Ebola patients. Subsequently, the EIDAR team developed a protocol to serve as a contingency plan (EpICC-EID) to allow clinical research activities to occur during future outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fever and severe acute respiratory infections among MHS patients. The EIDAR portfolio recently expanded to include studies to understand exposure risks and impact on military readiness for a diversity of EIDs, such as seroincidence of non-Lyme disease borreliosis and Coccidioides fungal infections among high-risk military populations. The team also launched a new prospective study in response to the recent Zika epidemic to conduct surveillance for Zika and other related viruses among MHS beneficiaries in Puerto Rico. Another new study will prospectively follow U.S. Marines via an online health assessment survey to assess long-term health effects following the largest DoD Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli outbreak at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot-San Diego. In cooperation with the Trauma-Related Infections Research Area, the EIDAR Research Area is also involved with the Multidrug-Resistant and Virulent Organisms Trauma Infections Initiative, which is a collaborative effort across DoD laboratories to characterize bacterial and fungal isolates infecting combat-related extremity wounds and link lab findings to clinical outcomes. Furthermore, the EIDAR team has developed an Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Collaborative Clinical Research Consortium, comprised of Infectious Disease and Pharmacy specialists. Conclusions: The EIDAR Research Area is responsive to military-relevant infectious disease threats that are also frequently global public health concerns. Several new EIDAR efforts are underway that will provide Combatant Command Surgeons, Infectious Diseases Service Chiefs, and other Force Health Protection stakeholders with epidemiological information to mitigate the impact of EIDs and antimicrobial resistance on the health of U.S. military service members and their dependents.
- emerging infectious diseases
- multidrug resistance