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A Global Threat Caused by Antibiotic Resistance

Posted by feww on September 17, 2013

Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the US

Overuse of antibiotics has helped create bacteria that are outliving the drugs used to treat them: CDC

The fast-growing antibiotic resistance is an extremely dangerous problem. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria have been described as “nightmare bacteria” that “pose a catastrophic threat” to people throughout the world.

Threat Level: URGENT

urgent threats
From top: 1. Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) causes life-threatening diarrhea. These infections mostly occur in people who have had both recent medical care and antibiotics. Often, C. difficile infections occur in hospitalized or recently hospitalized patients.  2. Untreatable and hard-to-treat infections from carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria are on the rise among patients in medical facilities. CRE have become resistant to all or nearly all the antibiotics we have today. Almost half of hospital patients who get bloodstream infections from CRE bacteria die from the infection.  3. Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease that can result in discharge and inflammation at the urethra, cervix, pharynx, or rectum.

Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.

In addition, almost 250,000 people who are hospitalized or require hospitalization get Clostridium difficile each year, an infection usually related to antibiotic use. C. difficile causes deadly diarrhea and kills at least 14,000 people each year. Many C. difficile infections and drug-resistant infections can be prevented.

How Bacteria Become Resistant

“When bacteria are exposed to antibiotics, they start learning how to outsmart the drugs. This process occurs in bacteria found in humans, animals, and the environment. Resistant bacteria can multiply and spread easily and quickly, causing severe infections. They can also share genetic information with other bacteria, making the other bacteria resistant as well. Each time bacteria learn to outsmart an antibiotic, treatment options are more limited, and these infections pose a greater risk to human health.” Read more…

“Antibiotic resistance is rising for many different pathogens that are threats to health,” said CDC Director. “If we don’t act now, our medicine cabinet will be empty and we won’t have the antibiotics we need to save lives.”

Urgent Threats

  • Clostridium difficile
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)
  • Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Serious Threats

  • Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter
  • Drug-resistant Campylobacter
  • Fluconazole-resistant Candida (a fungus)
  • Extended spectrum β-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLs)
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
  • Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Drug-resistant Non-typhoidal Salmonella
  • Drug-resistant Salmonella Typhi
  • Drug-resistant Shigella
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • Drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Drug-resistant tuberculosis

Serious threats 2013-cdc
Microorganisms with a threat level of SERIOUS. Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States 2013. Source: CDC

Concerning Threats

  • Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA)
  • Erythromycin-resistant Group A Streptococcus
  • Clindamycin-resistant Group B Streptococcus

A “ticking time bomb”

The danger posed by growing resistance to antibiotics is ‘as big a risk as terrorism,’ the UK medical chief, Professor Sally Davies has warned, describing the threat as a “ticking time bomb.” See video.

Related Links

TB and other Superbug Related Links

One Response to “A Global Threat Caused by Antibiotic Resistance”

  1. seiko said

    [Please resubmit your comment in English. Moderator]

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