Research

"Clean Care is Safer Care"

As a WHO Collaborating Center for Patient Safety (WHOCC) and in association with the WHO Patient Safety Group, our recent work has focused on assessing the burden of infections associated with health care in low and middle-income countries, with the goal of identifying and implementing the most feasible and effective measures/solutions for global infection prevention.

This strategy is supported by two-thirds of the UN Member States and is currently active in more than 95% of the world's countries. A foundation for the prevention of health care-associated infections in low-income countries has been created. The book Clean Hands Save Lives and the film Clean Hands describe the commitment and achievements of Prof. Pittet's group in these areas.

Prevention and control of infections associated with health care

Our group develops and tests multidisciplinary and multidimensional approaches to prevent health care-associated infections, including innovative tools to improve hand hygiene compliance and health care practices. We coordinated a large-scale project funded by the European Union (PROHIBIT) to improve the implementation of best preventive practices across European hospitals.

Prevention and determining factors for infections associated with medical devices in intensive care

We are investigating risk factors and multimodal prevention strategies to reduce infections associated with the use of medical devices, including new tools.

Control of resistance to antibiotics

Our group is carrying out several clinical and epidemiological studies to assess key issues related to controlling acquisition, transmission, and infection by multi-drug-resistant microorganisms. We are participating in several large-scale studies funded by the European Union that are currently under way (R-GNOSIS, Rapp-ID, AIDA, COMBACTE, DRIVE-AB) to address this important threat to public health.

We work closely with the HUG Genomics Research Laboratory, and its translational research platform. The most significant examples of our research are:

  • evaluation of various control interventions for MRSA (JAMA 2008, BMJopen 2013);
  • advanced analysis of the epidemiological trends and economic burden of multidrug-resistant microorganisms in the health sector (JAC 2011, ICHE 2013, EuroSurv 2016);
  • management of epidemiological studies linking patient data with molecular research (Clin Infect Dis 2011, ICHE 2014, J Infect Dis 2016) and several randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials to decolonize MRSA and ESBL carriers (JAC 2013, JAC 2016).

A new center of research excellence in partnership with Imperial College London

The IPC service has created a new center of research excellence and innovation in the field of infection prevention through a partnership with Imperial College London. Prof. Pittet is a member of the international selection committee for the Patient Safety Translational Research Centers (Patient Safety Translational Research Center) of the Department of Health for England and Wales to support the WHO's global activities in patient safety and prevention of infection. PD Dr. Walter Zingg is also partially affiliated with Imperial College London, particularly in the field of strategy implementation science.

Activities in the prevention of tropical diseases

  • Epidemiology of noma in Niger

Prof. Pittet is the president of GESNOMA (noma multidisciplinary clinical research group). Research focuses on noma risk factors and compares the diversity of oral bacteria in children with noma and control children in the same region. Prevention strategies will be tested following results obtained in the current research.

  • Activities related to Ebola in West Africa

Since early 2014, research activities within the IBD Division have placed a lot of attention on Ebola. Institutional recommendations for the admission of Ebola patients, control of transmission risk and the safety of patients and health professionals were extensively reviewed and updated. We actively participated and provided logistical support for the Ebola vaccine clinical trial.

International research projects

More information

Last update : 28/11/2018