Saturday, 19 May 2018

The CDC's Plan to Combat 'Nightmare' Bacteria

One of the biggest threats comes from carbapenemases, molecules that can make microbes impervious to carbapenems, which are some of the most potent antibiotics. The Enterobacteriaceae family of bacteria is the one that causes the most infections in hospitals, and that family began to pick up resistance to carbapenems. In 1988 these microbes, called CRE for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, were first identified. Plasmids spread carbapenem resistance, and efficiently enough that by 2001, the carbapenem-resistant bacteria were becoming impervious to other antibiotics as well. It became evident that more aggressive strategies were needed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued directives in 2009 to confront the problem, and there were updates in 2013 and 2015. Now the CDC wanted to survey the state of antibiotic resistance in the United States. Data from 2006 to 2015 from the National Healthcare Safety Network showed that there was a decline in the number of CRE infections in hospitals.

The report concludes: “The proportion of Enterobacteriaceae infections that were CRE remained lower and decreased more over time than the proportion that were ESBL phenotype. This difference might be explained by the more directed control efforts implemented to slow transmission of CRE than those applied for ESBL-producing strains. Increased detection and aggressive early response to emerging antibiotic resistance threats have the potential to slow further spread.”

See: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) “Vital Signs: Containment of Novel Multidrug-Resistant Organisms and Resistance Mechanisms — United States, 2006–2017.”

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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