Advanced Medicine & Surgery

Infectious Diseases

Despite the development of vaccines and antibiotics, infectious diseases continue to be a significant health issue in the 21st century. The emergence of diseases such as West Nile virus, HIV/AIDS and new strains of E. coli have heightened our awareness, and so has the resurgence of diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. In addition, some strains of bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, raising concern amongst researchers and health-care professionals.

University Health Network’s Infectious Diseases Care Area
Our Infectious Diseases care area is made up of several multidisciplinary clinics. Each clinic specializes in providing one-stop shopping and continuing care from a team of nurses, physicians, pharmacists and social workers for specific problems such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and travel or tropical diseases. Well-known for our ability to solve baffling medical problems caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, we provide expert consultation services for both in-patients at UHN as well as patients who are referred by their physicians.

Immunodeficiency Clinic
Serving Canada’s largest HIV-positive population, our immunodeficiency clinic is the largest of its kind in the country. It serves 1,500 individuals and care is usually offered through outpatient clinics. We provide an in-clinic pharmacy and a combined ophthalmology-infectious diseases clinic to enhance these services. In addition, we offer patients access to the latest treatment developments through participation in clinical trials. We also provide information updates to the community to help interpret international findings and information on immunodeficiency topics. Our researchers continue to advance knowledge about the effectiveness of current medications — and the possibility of developing new strategies, such as immunization.

Centre for Travel and Tropical Medicine
This clinic provides leading-edge pre-travel advice as well as treatment for tropical diseases. The clinic also meets the specialized needs of patients in cancer, transplant and immunodeficiency programs who plan to travel. Prestigious research is being conducted through the centre, which is recognized as a national and international leader in diagnosis and management of tropical diseases.

Tuberculosis Clinic
Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of tuberculosis are the aims of the tuberculosis clinic. With the liaison of a nurse practitioner and community public health, the clinic ensures patients complete their treatment and family members/close contacts receive appropriate follow-up and preventative therapy. Through directly observed therapy, the clinic increases the cure rate and decreases drug resistance in patients. Research is also underway to improve treatment and prevention of tuberculosis in Toronto’s immigrant population.

Hospital Infection Control and Occupational Health
Our Infection Prevention and Control Unit (IPPAC) is leading UHN’s fight against antibiotic resistant infections, or “superbugs.” This unit also monitors infections to keep the risk of acquiring an infection in the hospital as low as possible.

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