Antimicrobial Resistance

Antibiotics and similar drugs, together called antimicrobial agents, have been used for the last 70 years to treat patients who have infectious diseases. Since the 1940s, these drugs have greatly reduced illness and death from infectious diseases. Antibiotic use has been beneficial and, when prescribed and taken correctly, their value in patient care is enormous. However, these drugs have been used so widely and for so long that the infectious organisms the antibiotics are designed to kill have adapted to them, making the drugs less effective. People infected with antimicrobial-resistant organisms are more likely to have longer, more expensive hospital stays, and may be more likely to die as a result of the infection.

Ever since antibiotics became widely available about 50 years ago, they have been hailed as miracle drugs--magic bullets able to destroy disease-causing bacteria.

But with each passing decade, bacteria that resist not only single, but multiple, antibiotics--making some diseases particularly hard to control--have become increasingly widespread. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), virtually all significant bacterial infections in the world are becoming resistant to the antibiotic treatment of choice. For some of us, bacterial resistance could mean more visits to the doctor, a lengthier illness, and possibly more toxic drugs. For others, it could mean death. The CDC estimates that, each year, nearly 2 million people in the United States acquire an infection while in a hospital, resulting in 90,000 deaths. More than 70 percent of the bacteria that cause these infections are resistant to at least one of the antibiotics commonly used to treat them.

Antibiotic resistance, also known as antimicrobial resistance, is not a new phenomenon. Just a few years after the first antibiotic, penicillin, became widely used in the late 1940s, penicillin-resistant infections emerged that were caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). These "staph" infections range from urinary tract infections to bacterial pneumonia. Methicillin, one of the strongest in the arsenal of drugs to treat staph infections, is no longer effective against some strains of S. aureus. Vancomycin, which is the most lethal drug against these resistant pathogens, may be in danger of losing its effectiveness; recently, some strains of S. aureus that are resistant to vancomycin have been reported.

Although resistant bacteria have been around a long time, the scenario today is different from even just 10 years ago, says Stuart Levy, M.D., president of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics. "The number of bacteria resistant to many different antibiotics has increased, in many cases, tenfold or more. Even new drugs that have been approved are confronting resistance, fortunately in small amounts, but we have to be careful how they're used. If used for extended periods of time, they too risk becoming ineffective early on."

Triclosan Use Ban


Nightmare Bacteria Resistant to Antibiotics Spreads in Chicago
Antibiotic resistant bacteria infected 44 people in Illinois. This nightmare bacteria breaks down antibiotics and kills 50% of those infected. The outbreak is being attributed to the condition in hospitals, officials are saying that this antibiotic resistant bug is spreading via hospital staff and equipment.

What You Should Know About The Half of Raw Chicken In The USA Containing Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Food Safety Policies are not protecting American consumers, as seen by over 500 people getting chicken related illnesses. What is happening to prevent this from happening again, and what do you need to know about this outbreak of bacteria resistant to Antibiotics.

Antibiotic Resistant Superbug Bacteria Widespread Through Half of National Raw Chicken Breasts
Raw Chicken tested for harmful bacteria by Consumer Reports, almost all tested positive. Fifty percent of these chickens carried bacterium that was resistant to three or more antibiotics, and eleven percent had two types of bacteria that were resistant to many medicines.

Dangerous MRSA bacteria expand into communities
A USA TODAY investigation shows MRSA bacteria, once confined to hospitals, are emerging in communities to strike an increasing number of children, as well as schools, prisons, even NFL locker rooms (USA TODAY).

FDA issues proposed rule to determine safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps
A proposal by the FDA introduces a rule for antibacterial body wash and soap manufacturers to mandatorily prove the long term safety and effectiveness of daily usage of their products. Especial focus put on triclocarban and triclosan, is resultant of studies showing their negative effect on hormones, and bacterial resistance.

“The numbers are pretty striking,” said Dawn Undurraga, the nutritionist for the group, a health research and advocacy organization. “It really raises a question about the antibiotics we are using in raising animals for meat.”

In at least 37 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, doctors have identified bacteria, including E. coli, that produce Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase, or KPC—an enzyme that makes bacteria resistant to most known treatments. The final outcome: superbacteria that are hard to kill.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The doctors tried one antibiotic after another, racing to stop the infection as it tore through the man’s body, but nothing worked.

Gonorrhea has progressively developed resistance to the antibiotic drugs prescribed to treat it. The emergence of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea would significantly complicate our ability to treat gonorrhea successfully, since we have few antibiotic options left that are simple, well-studied, and highly effective.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams.

Tuberculosis bacteria sometimes become resistant to the drugs used to treat TB. This means that the drug can no longer kill the bacteria. Drug-resistant TB is spread through the air from one person to another.

The age of antibiotics is over. It’s history. There are no more patented chemical antibiotics in the pipeline. The drug companies have all but abandoned antibiotics research, leaving humanity to suffer the fate of a wave of drug-resistant bacteria — superbugs — that the drug companies actually helped…

Nearly half of 50 hospital rooms tested by researchers were colonized or infected with a multidrug-resistant bacteria, a new study says.