Cesar A. Arias, MD, MSc, PhD

Co-director, Center for Infectious Diseases Research
Houston Methodist


Biography

Dr. Cesar Arias has over 25 years of experience in the field of antimicrobial resistance. His career has focused on the clinical and molecular aspects of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with emphasis on gram-positive organisms. He became interested in infectious disease (ID) because of its prominence as a public health problem and also because ID spans all aspects of clinical medicine. After medical school, he attended the University of London where he focused on clinical microbiology and performed research on the molecular biology of capsule genes in S. pneumoniae, developing molecular tools for capsule typing of this important pathogen. He obtained his PhD at Cambridge in 2000, studying the molecular mechanisms of vancomycin resistance in enterococci. During graduate studies, he discovered a new enzyme and elucidated a novel mechanism for synthesis of D-serine in bacteria. After completing residency at UTHealth McGovern Medical School as well as a fellowship in ID (joint program with UT MD Anderson Cancer Center), he expanded studies on staphylococci and enterococci.

He was the recipient of a K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence Award and now holds an NIH K24 mid-career investigator award to increase patient-oriented and mentoring activities on antimicrobial resistance. He has also founded two overseas research units (Molecular Genetics and Antimicrobial Resistance Unit and the International Center for Microbial Genomics) focused on AMR at Universidad El Bosque, Bogota, Colombia. His most recent research has concentrated on elucidating the mechanistic basis of resistance to daptomycin with focus on enterococci and to dissect the molecular epidemiology and clinical impact of multidrug-resistant organisms as part of the NIH-funded Antimicrobial Resistance Leadership Group. A major component of the research on MDR organisms is the use of genomics as a major tool to dissect the molecular epidemiology and population structure of MDR bacteria.

Publications

Real World Long-term Assessment of The Efficacy of Tocilizumab in Patients with COVID-19: Results From A Large De-identified Multicenter Electronic Health Record Dataset in the United States
Nigo, M, Rasmy, L, May, SB, Rao, A, Karimaghaei, S, Kannadath, BS, De la Hoz, A, Arias, CA, Li, L & Zhi, D 2021, , International Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 113, pp. 148-154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2021.09.067

Impact of bicarbonate-ß-lactam exposures on methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (Mrsa) gene expression in bicarbonate-ß-lactam-responsive vs. non-responsive strains
Ersoy, SC, Hanson, BM, Proctor, RA, Arias, CA, Tran, TT, Chambers, HF & Bayer, AS 2021, , Genes, vol. 12, no. 11, 1650. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12111650

Evaluation of susceptibility testing methods for aztreonam and ceftazidime-avibactam combination therapy on extensively drug-resistant gram-negative organisms
Khan, A, Erickson, SG, Pettaway, C, Arias, CA, Miller, WR & Bhatti, MM 2021, , Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, vol. 65, no. 11, e00846-21. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00846-21

Candida auris invasive infections during a COVID-19 case surge
Hanson, BM, Dinh, AQ, Tran, TT, Arenas, S, Pronty, D, Gershengorn, HB, Ferreira, T, Arias, CA & Shukla, BS 2021, , Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, vol. 65, no. 10, e01146-21, pp. e0114621. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.01146-21

Efficacy of omadacycline against multidrug-resistant enterococcus faecium Strains in a Mouse Peritonitis Model
Singh, KV, Arias, CA & Murray, BE 2021, , Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, vol. 65, no. 9, 00709. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00709-21

Genomic analysis of carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa ST143 clone showing susceptibility to broad-spectrum cephalosporins
Streling, AP, Cayô, R, Nodari, CS, Almeida, LGP, Santos, FF, Hanson, B, Dinh, AQ, Vasconcelos, ATR, Miller, WR, Arias, CA & Gales, AC 2021, , Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance, vol. 26, pp. 177-179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgar.2021.05.019

Evaluation of the vitek 2, phoenix, and microscan for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of stenotrophomonas maltophilia
Khan, A, Arias, CA, Abbott, A, Bard, JD, Bhatti, MM & Humphries, RM 2021, , Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 59, no. 9, e00654-21. https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00654-21

Techniques in bacterial strain typing: past, present, and future
Simar, SR, Hanson, BM & Arias, CA 2021, , Current opinion in infectious diseases, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 339-345. https://doi.org/10.1097/QCO.0000000000000743

The Cefazolin Inoculum Effect (CzIE) Is Associated With BlaZ Regulation And Not With Enzyme Kinetic Differences In Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA)
Gomez-Villegas, SI, Sun, Z, Panesso, D, Dinh, A, carvajal-ortiz, LP, Rincon, SL, Reyes, J, Murray, BE, Diaz, L, Miller, WR, Singh, KV, Palzkill, T & Arias, CA 2021, , ASM/World Microbe Forum /Online, UA, USA. 7/21/21.

Erratum: A multicenter study to evaluate ceftaroline breakpoints: Performance in an area with high prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus sequence type 5 lineage (J Clin Microbiol (2019) 57:9 (e00798-19) DOI: 10.1128/JCM.00798-19)
Khan, A, Rivas, LM, Spencer, M, Martinez, R, Lam, M, Rojas, P, Porte, L, Silva, F, Braun, S, Valdivieso, F, M?lhauser, M, Lafourcade, M, Miller, WR, García, P, Arias, CA & Munita, JM 2021, , Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 59, no. 6, e00734-21. https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00734-21

Erratum: Evaluation of the performance of manual antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods and disk breakpoints for stenotrophomonas maltophilia (Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2021) 65:5 (e02631-20) DOI: 10.1128/AAC.02631-20)
Khan, A, Pettaway, CH, Bard, JD, Arias, CA, Bhatti, MM & Humphries, RM 2021, , Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, vol. 65, no. 6, e00770. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00770-21

Alterations of the Oral Microbiome and Cumulative Carbapenem Exposure Are Associated With Stenotrophomonas maltophilia Infection in Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia Receiving Chemotherapy
Aitken, SL, Sahasrabhojane, PV, Kontoyiannis, DP, Savidge, TC, Arias, CA, Ajami, NJ, Shelburne, SA & Galloway-Peña, JR 2021, , Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, vol. 72, no. 9, pp. 1507-1513. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa778

Evaluation of the performance of manual antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods and disk breakpoints for stenotrophomonas maltophilia
Khan, A, Pettaway, CH, Bard, JD, Arias, CA, Bhatti, MM & Humphries, RM 2021, , Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, vol. 65, no. 5, e02631-20. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.02631-20

A Test for the Rapid Detection of the Cefazolin Inoculum Effect in Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus
Rincon, S, Carvajal, LP, Gomez-Villegas, SI, Echeverri, AM, Rios, R, Dinh, A, Pedroza, C, Ordoñez, KM, Nannini, E, Sun, Z, Fowler, VG, Murray, BE, Miller, WR, Palzkill, T, Diaz, L, Arias, CA & Reyes, J 2021, , Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 59, no. 4, e01938-20. https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01938-20

Daptomycin resistance in enterococcus faecium can be delayed by disruption of the LiaFSR stress response pathway
Prater, AG, Mehta, HH, Beabout, K, Supandy, A, Miller, WR, Tran, TT, Arias, CA & Shamoo, Y 2021, , Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, vol. 65, no. 4, e01317-20. https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.01317-20

IS26-mediated amplification of blaOXA-1and blaCTX-M-15with concurrent outer membrane porin disruption associated with de novo carbapenem resistance in a recurrent bacteraemia cohort
Shropshire, WC, Aitken, SL, Pifer, R, Kim, J, Bhatti, MM, Li, X, Kalia, A, Galloway-Penã, J, Sahasrabhojane, P, Arias, CA, Greenberg, DE, Hanson, BM & Shelburne, SA 2021, , Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, vol. 76, no. 2, pp. 385-395. https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkaa447

Heterologous expression of liaX from Enterococcus faecium in an E. faecalis host
Tran, C, Panesso, D, Shamoo, Y & Arias, CA 2021, , 4th Annual Texas Medical Center Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Conference, Houston, United States, 1/26/21 - 1/28/21.

Amino Acid Substitutions in Key Regions of BlaI and BlaR Correlate with the Cefazolin Inoculum Effect in Methicillin Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA)
Gomez-Villegas, SI, Dinh, A, Panesso, D, carvajal-ortiz, LP, Rincon, SL, Arias, CA, Reyes, MI, Murray, BE, Diaz, L, Miller, WR, Singh, KV & Arias, CA 2021, , 4th Annual Texas Medical Center Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Conference, Houston, United States, 1/26/21 - 1/28/21.

Polymorphisms in Key Regulatory Regions of the bla Operon Correlate with the Cefazolin Inoculum Effect in Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus
Gomez-Villegas, SI, Rios, R, Diaz, L, Dinh, A, Panesso, D, Rincon, SL, carvajal-ortiz, LP, Reyes, MI, Murray, BE, Miller, WR, Singh, KV, Reyes, J & Arias, CA 2021, , IDWeek 2021, 9/30/21 - 10/3/21.

Role of the LiaF in the LiaR-Mediated Response Against Daptomycin and Antimicrobial Peptides in Multidrug-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis (Efs)
Panesso, D, Gomez-Villegas, SI, Rincon, SL, Khan, A, Nguyen, AH, Shane, C, Ortiz-Velez, L, Shamoo, Y, Tran, C & Arias, CA 2021, , 4th Annual Texas Medical Center Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Conference, Houston, United States, 1/26/21 - 1/28/21.