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Superbugs account for 1 in 7 hospital infections

By Tim Sandle     Mar 5, 2016 in Health
Bethesda - Superbugs are causing an increasing number of infections in U.S. hospitals, according to a new study. Pathogenic bacteria are responsible for one in seven infections.
The new research comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and it highlights the risk from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae; and other pathogens.
The growth in antibiotic and antimicrobial resistant bacteria is one of the major problems facing health systems worldwide. The term, in addition to 'superbug,' refers to bacteria that are now resistant to one or more antimicrobial compounds.
Based on new research, the CDC estimates that on any given day of the week, one in 25 patients have an infection that they picked up in the hospital. Moreover, one in seven catheter- and surgery-related "healthcare acquired infections" can be caused by any of six antibiotic-resistant bacteria
These infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat with standard antimicrobials. This means using antimicrobials and antibiotics of last resort, which not only increases the chances of further acquired resistance, these drugs carry greater side-effects for the patient.
The long-term solution is to find new candidate antibiotics (something the pharmaceutical industry has shied away from due to the low profit returns, leaving governments and universities to step in). The short term solution is to carefully ration the use of antimicrobials for patients and to stop practices that lead to a spread of resistance in the community, such as administering antibiotics to farm animals.
The important point about restricting use was picked up by CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, who said, in light of the report: "Doctors are the key to stamping out superbugs."
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