Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Next Plague: The Bacteria Strike Back

By Steve Schow — April 20, 2017

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause more than two million infections per year in the US, resulting in ~23,000 deaths. These infections incur an estimated $20 billion in direct healthcare costs and $35 billion in lost productivity, and these costs are expected to rise rapidly over the next several years.

The threat of antibiotic resistance is especially critical in the case of Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Infections caused by MultiDrug Resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacteria result in higher mortality rates, longer hospital stays and higher treatment costs compared to antibiotic-susceptible infections.

Patients with MDR Gram-negative bacterial infections have a mortality rate of 30-70%, which is approximately two to threefold higher than patients who have an antibiotic-susceptible infection. In 2005, there were 368,600 hospital stays with Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infections in the US, at a resulting cost of $5 billion.

The incidence tripled between 2000 and 2005. Invasive MRSA resulted in 18,650 deaths in the US in 2005. The first case of MRSA appeared in 1961, just one year after the introduction of methicillin. MRSA was widespread in Europe by the end of the 70s and in the US by the end of the 80s. Nasal MRSA carriage is a major risk factor in hospital community infections. In 2002, 2 million hospital patients succumbed to hospital-acquired infection leading to 99,000 deaths.......To Read More......


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