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 03 4215 0000

Department of Infectious Diseases

About Us 

The Barwon Health Department of Infectious Diseases and Infection Prevention is an academic tertiary referral program and incorporates:

  • Expert infection prevention/control service across all Barwon Health sites.
  • Infectious diseases services including consultations, inpatient care and antimicrobial stewardship to all acute care sites.
  • Accredited advanced training in infectious diseases and microbiology.
  • Specialised ambulatory and outpatient services for general infectious diseases, Hospital in the Home, HIV management, sexual and reproductive health, viral hepatitis and refugee health service with multidisciplinary models of care and paediatric input.
  • Psychiatry and pharmacy specialist liaison services and comprehensive community case management programs (HIV/HARP).
  • 24-hour community HIV post exposure prophylaxis service.
  • Extensive infectious diseases research programs in clinical, basic sciences, public health and epidemiology.

The Department works closely with Deakin University, with many of our physicians and staff having teaching roles and academic appointments with the university. We also have close links with the Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases (GCEID), a collaborative, multidisciplinary research partnership between Deakin University, Barwon Health and the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and links with Alice Springs Hospital (with our registrars rotating to Central Australia for six month placements).

The Department has active research collaborations locally and internationally, as well as running an active infectious diseases clinical trials unit.

Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases (GCEID) in partnership with the Department of Infectious Diseases

Research program

We are a multidisciplinary research team including basic genomic and pathogen biology scientists, environmental scientists, public health specialists, epidemiologists and expert clinicians.

We are tackling diseases of public health importance including: emerging infections such Mycobacteria ulcerans (Buruli ulcer), zoonotic infections: Coxiella, Rickettsia, Biofilm infections of medical devices - orthopaedic and cardiac, and virulent pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections, Endocarditis and Clostridium difficle.

Our research team and laboratory is uniquely placed across several campuses with access to patients, population cohorts, clinical samples, bio-banking and clinical trials platforms including Phase 1 through 3 studies.

Our work includes host pathogen relationships, molecular epidemiology, disease transmission and dynamics and future preventative strategies for at risk populations.

For further enquires contact:

Professor Eugene Athan

Email [email protected]

Ph 03 4215 2375

Discipline: Infection and Immunity

2019 highlights

Service

  • We have experienced the most intense and early Influenza season on record. This has been well managed by the multidisciplinary BH Influenza working group focussing on diagnostics, precautions, communication, staff immunisation and early recognition to minimised impact on access and flow.
  • With the support of the Medical Services directorate we continue to utilise up to 4 dedicated ID inpatient beds on BX7 to further improve the quality of care we provide our patients with complex infections.
  • In 2018, Barwon Health implemented an Adult Sepsis Pathway as part of a Better Care Victoria funded project. This program comprehensively manages the recognition, treatment and management of sepsis. In 2018 we demonstrated a significant reduction in length of stay for sepsis (mean of 0.42 days), ICU length of stay (mean of 1.9 days) and for all-cause mortality. The cost effectiveness analysis demonstrated that the implementation of the Sepsis Pathway resulted in better clinical outcomes at a lesser cost. The Project lead is E Athan, the project officers are Alicia Neels (Senior AMS Pharmacist) and Jemma Trickey (ICU Nurse).
  • Our highly successful regional Hepatitis C access to therapy Model of care led by Dr Amanda Wade has been recognised and the results published in Clin Infect Disease Journal.

Research

  • Our team were invited to present our world leading research at the WHO Buruli ulcer meeting in Geneva in March 2019. We presented 2 clinical studies and our large case control study underway to help identify the potential environmental and behavioural factors causing disease transmission.


Key publications

1. Outcomes of treatment for hepatitis C in primary care compared to hospital-based care: a randomised controlled trial in people who inject drugs.
Wade AJ, Doyle JS, Gane E, Stedman C, Draper B, Iser D, Roberts SK, Kemp W, Petrie D, Scott N, Higgs P, Agius PA, Roney J, Stothers L, Thompson AJ, Hellard ME.
Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Jun 22. pii: ciz546. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz546. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 31233117 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


2. Six versus eight weeks of antibiotics for small Mycobacteriumulcerans lesions in Australian Patients.
O'Brien DP, Friedman ND, Cowan R, Walton A, Athan E.
Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Jun 20. pii: ciz532. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz532. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 31231766 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


3. Silent but deadly: patients with enterococcal bacteraemia should be assessed for colorectal neoplasia.
Athan E, Cabiltes I, Coghill S, Bowe SJ.
Med J Aust. 2019 Feb;210(2):86. doi: 10.5694/mja2.12027. Epub 2018 Nov 7. No abstract available.
PMID: 30712310 [PubMed - in process]

Meet the team

Our Research

Publications (select a year)

Last Modified: Thursday, 27 February 2020