Military Significance

The Department of Defense Global Emerging Infectious Surveillance and Response System (DoD-GEIS) states on its website: "Emerging infectious diseases are a significant threat to global and U.S. national security".

The DoD-GEIS focus is on infectious diseases that have recently become more prevalent, or threaten to do so, and increase the risk to U.S. military forces or national security. The spread of multi-drug resistance among bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing organisms threatens our ability to combat infections and is a health threat to all U.S. military personnel. DoD-GEIS proposes implementing programs to "define the extent of antimicrobial resistance through comprehensive surveillance; identify effective prevention and control measures; and, stimulate basic research and product development of new antimicrobial drugs and other products designed to prevent or control infectious diseases."

The Copper Touch Surfaces Program is addressing these concerns through clinical evaluations to determine the effectiveness of copper and copper alloys in mitigating the spread of infectious diseases that are a priority of the military. Reports from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated that multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria in ICUs have spread from Combat Surgical Hospital (CSH) units to tertiary care medical facilities. Other DoD-sponsored programs are investigating a range of MDR pathogens, such as A-baum, MRSA and VRE that are affecting the health of military personnel worldwide.