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article imageBattle with super-bugs moves onto tackle E. coli

By Tim Sandle     Nov 13, 2016 in Health
London - With success achieved in reducing incidences of MRSA, the British government has moved its focus towards reducing the number of cases of the bacterium Escherichia coli in hospitals.
Although incidences of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficle have fallen, mainly due to preventative measures undertaken in hospitals, cases of Escherichia coli (E. coli) are on the increase in U.K. healthcare facilities, with some 5,500 deaths recorded in 2015. Infection with E. coli can cause respiratory, urinary and surgical site infections. The most serious cases lead to sepsis.
The decline in cases of some super-bugs and a rise in incidences of E. coli suggests that a general infection prevention strategy is less successful than a targeted one, and that different measures (such as disinfectant selection) are needed according to the pathogen.
A further concern with E. coli, as with other super-bugs, is increased resistance to antimicrobials. The main way this happens is by bacterial cells that have become resistant passing on genetic information to a larger population of organisms.
To tackle the problem, the BBC reports that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has appointed a new national infection lead called Dr Ruth May. The aim will be to put into place a far stricter inspection regime for hospitals.
In a statement, reported by ITV, Hunt said: "Taken together, these measures are intended to achieve a dramatic reduction in hospital infections, reducing enormous human pain and suffering in the process. They will make us better at knowing when to use antibiotics and better at knowing when not to use them."
Because of concerns about E. coli incidences, the British government has demanded that hospitals publish data relating to infection incidences. In 2015, there were in excess of 40,000 cases in England alone. This represented a 20 percent increase, compared with 2010.
More about Superbugs, Ecoli, Bacteria, Hospital
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