Wednesday, 19 June, 2019

Antibiotic resistant "nightmare bacteria" a growing threat in the US, CDC says

Deadly 'Nightmare Bacteria' Resistant to Antibiotics Infected 221 Americans in a Year, CDC Says CDC Finds 'Nightmare Bacteria' Across the US Here's What That Means
Gustavo Carr | 04 April, 2018, 01:39

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 2 million Americans become infected with germs resistant to antibiotics each year and more than 23,000 die from these infections.

The CDC defines "unusual resistance" as germs that can not be killed by all or most antibiotics; are now uncommon in the US; or have specific genes that allow them to spread their resistance to other germs.

Scientists have recently been sounding the alarm over antibiotic resistance more loudly, warning that with one in three antibiotics being prescribed unnecessarily, we are fueling the ability of bacteria to morph and become hard or impossible to treat.

Rapid identification of the new or rare threats is the critical first step in CDC's containment strategy to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance (AR).

Each year, an estimated two million people in the USA were infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and 23,000 of those die.

Infections of this kind are "virtually untreatable with modern medicine", CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said in a press briefing Tuesday.

Germs will continuously find ways to resist new and existing antibiotics; stopping new resistance from developing is not now possible. "With an aggressive response, we've been able to stomp them out promptly and stop their spread between people, between other facilities, and between other germs".

A full quarter of the sample bacteria carried a special genetic variation that makes them capable of passing their resistance to other germs.

"Nightmare bacteria" with unusual resistance to antibiotics of last resort were found more than 200 times in the United States past year in a first-of-a-kind hunt to see how much of a threat these rare cases are becoming, health officials said Tuesday, April 3, 2018. These have to be stopped quickly before they can share their genes with other bacteria. In many cases, others in close contact with these patients also harboured the superbugs even though they weren't sick - a risk for further spread. They did a comprehensive investigation within 48 hours, preventing further spread of the bug.

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Continued infection control and testing until it is confirmed that spread has stopped.

In health care facilities where unusual resistance was found, researchers found that in patients without symptoms, about one in 10 screening tests identified a difficult-to-treat germ that spreads easily.

These ongoing efforts also show why these cases must be met with rapid containment.

Now, the CDC is joining that call in a report on the prevalence of these bacteria and the effectiveness of its new, additional strategy for preventing their spread. "It's reassuring to see that state and local experts, using our containment strategy, identified and stopped these resistant bacteria before they had the opportunity to spread". That's a 76 percent decrease.

CRE describes germs that have actually established resistance to carbapenems, a class of effective prescription antibiotics kept in reserve to be utilized as a last hope versus an otherwise untreatable infection. The bacteria were resistant to most or all antibiotic treatments and had the ability to spread their resistance to other germs.

Targeted efforts to lower the spread of CRE led to a 15 percent decline in infections every year, the CDC discovered.

Preventing these bugs from spreading is essential to controlling the antibiotic resistance crisis, the CDC says.

The "Vital Signs" report, by scientists at the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, was released April 3 in the firm's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.