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UVA researchers using computer model to combat deadly infection

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 4:17 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Researchers with the University of Virginia are using advanced computer models to study treatments for a potentially deadly infection.

C. difficile is a pathogen that affects hundreds-of-thousands of Americans every year. Managing these infections is difficult, because they can be antibiotic resistant.

“The hope is that by making these models more predictive, better quality, that will be able to know exactly what it is that we need to target for drug development,” Doctor Jason Papin, professor of biomedical engineering, said.

Papin says this uses a form of predictive computer modeling called GENREs to battle infectious diseases.

UVA and UNC Chapel Hill are partnering to build a computer model to predict which genes are important for this bacteria to survive.

“It really was a team effort that involved expertise across a lot of different people, groups and that’s something that’s really important,” Papin said. “We really tried to build the models in a way that pulls in and capitalizes on expertise from all kinds of other people to make the models as predictable as possible.”

Researchers are excited about their initial findings, but there is a lot that needs to be done to see if these predictions hold true when it comes to actual infections.

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