The CDC has been highlighting its recent efforts in combating organisms that are resistant to antibiotics. Experts warn that we are still in a difficult battle.
Is it finally possible to turn the corner against antibiotic resistance? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seem to believe so.
In connection with the Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, the CDC highlights the accomplishments of the organization throughout the United States.
This initiative provides infrastructure support to detect and contain instances of antibiotic resistance. This includes education and local control of outbreaks.
The CDC released some highlights, including Kentucky’s containment of a rare enzyme that could lead to antibiotic resistance.
The agency also reported the start of specialized testing for a deadly multi-drug resistant fungus, Candida auris.
It also observed an improvement in the local response and testing for resistant gonorrheas in California.
A map of the country shows the progress made by each state over the past 12 months.
Healthline was told by Michael Craig, senior advisor to the CDC for antibiotic resistance strategy and coordination. “We are positioned to respond faster to antibiotic resistance thanks CDC’s investments made in all 50 states,” Craig said. We are making progress, but we need to maintain our momentum. To truly turn the tide, we need to take strong action.
These initiatives cost $163 million for the organization in 2017
- It’s a difficult fight
- Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria and fungi resist drugs that are intended to kill them.
- This is a serious health problem because even minor infections can lead to death.
- Despite the CDC’s significant efforts, it is still a difficult battle for researchers to combat antibiotic resistance.
Healthline reported that while these are admirable things, they don’t necessarily address the root of the problem. Charles McKenna PhD, a professor of chemical and pharmaceutical sciences at University of Southern California (USC), said that “These are all laudatory actions that they are doing.” “The problem lies in the fact that there are a lot of pathogenic organisms running out of effective medicines.
McKenna states that the CDC’s response and diagnostic components are crucial, but that the fight against antibiotic resistance boils down to “better drugs.”
It’s a race against the clock to beat antibiotic resistance.
“A microbe might be able to quickly develop a resistance strain. McKenna stated that it takes many years to develop a new drug and have it approved after clinical trials. “So microbes have a huge advantage over us.
There is no universal solution.
Different organisms react differently to different drugs. These organisms may also have different levels of resistance to antibiotics.
Sometimes, pathogens are resistant to any type of treatment except one. McKenna stated that if the drug stopped working, it would mean “We would be back at square one.”
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Resistance fungi can be tackled
McKenna is an expert in resistant fungi. A team of international researchers discovered a new way to combat Candida albicans, an antibiotic-resistant fungus that can be deadly.
His work is especially important as resistant fungi like Candida albicans or Candida auris are being increasingly scrutinized by the medical community.
Candida auris was first identified in Japan in 2009. It is now considered an emerging threat due to its multi-drug resistance. It has been shown to be resistant in some cases to all three major antifungal drugs, rendering it virtually untreatable.
High mortality rates are also linked to antibiotic-resistant fungi. While information is scarce, estimates range from 60 to 60 percent.
Most of these fatalities and infections occur in patients who are hospitalized or immunosuppressed. Patients with immunosuppressive drugs and children are particularly at risk.
If not properly sterilized, antibiotic resistant fungi or other microbes can persist in hospitals for several weeks. Hospital patients with compromised immune systems are at greater risk.
What you can do?
Public health perspectives suggest that there is little individuals can do to prevent antibiotic resistance.
McKenna stated that drug resistance can be identified by the promiscuous prescribing drugs for minor conditions, or for conditions that are not appropriate. “Although the doctor may prescribe antibiotics for minor conditions, or even for the most incontinental reasons, you are giving resistance to the microbe population every time that you do so. Many people are familiar with the idea that you must take all prescribed antibiotics.
However, this may not be true. Healthline reported last year that some healthcare professionals had changed their attitude on the issue. Researchers found that antibiotic resistance is actually a result of the proliferation of the “complete the courses” message.
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Craig said that patients can ask questions and voice their opinions when they receive medical care. “Patients should ask questions about the possibility of infection, which vaccines are required and what antibiotics might be the best treatment. Never pressure your doctor to prescribe antibiotics.