- antimicrobial resistance, clinical trial, community health, epidemiology, infectious disease, staphylococcal infections, translational research
Dr. Fritz is a board-certified pediatric infectious diseases specialist with formal training in clinical investigation. She leads a multidisciplinary, translational research team focusing on community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). The research group has orchestrated several related studies to define the clinical and molecular epidemiology of CA-MRSA colonization and infection in children, determine the effectiveness of strategies for treating and preventing infections, and specify mechanisms of S. aureus virulence and host immune responses.
Dr. Fritz conducted a large community-based study measuring the prevalence of CA-MRSA colonization in children and tracked the incidence of skin infections in this cohort over one year. Upon demonstrating that CA-MRSA colonization posed risk for subsequent infection, she led several trials evaluating the effectiveness of decolonization measures to prevent CA-MRSA skin infections and demonstrated that a household approach to CA-MRSA decolonization decreased the incidence of skin infections in index patients and their household contacts. Most recently, Dr. Fritz and her team have demonstrated that household environmental surfaces are important reservoirs for CA-MRSA acquisition and transmission.
Dr. Fritz has also partnered with basic science investigators to evaluate virulence gene expression in active CA-MRSA infections, examine host antibody responses to staphylococcal toxins, and interrogate microbial and host genomic factors driving the spectrum of infections caused by CA-MRSA.