Tag Archives: antimicrobial resistance

Fight against AMR is one we simply cannot afford to lose

3The Centers for Disease Control published a bombshell report in 2013, strongly warning against the negative ramifications of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). And in 2014, the World Health Organization labeled antibiotic resistance as a “major threat to public health.” Antibiotic resistance is a direct result of antibiotic use. The more antibiotics are used, the greater the odds that antibiotic-resistant populations of bacteria will increase. It is imperative the fight across multiple disciplines continues because since these reports, it doesn’t appear the situation is improving significantly. Consider some of the following reports.

Antibiotic resistance – A global health crisis is a wonderful piece that discusses what is being done to combat AMR and includes a personal experience that hammers home the point that we are at a critical point in the fight.

Below are three YouTube pieces that discuss various aspects of AMR and are well worth the time to watch:

  • CDC now admits era of antibiotics at an end as bacteria out-wit drug companies is one that should really make folks stand up and take notice. If you don’t think you should be concerned because there always will be new drugs to combat AMR, you’re probably wrong. “In a breakthrough moment of truth for the CDC, the agency now openly admits that prescription antibiotics have led to a catastrophic rise in superbugs, causing the death of at least 23,000 Americans each year (an estimate even the CDC calls “conservative”).” Staggering numbers, indeed.
  • Maryn McKenna: What do we do when antibiotics don’t work anymore? “Penicillin changed everything. Infections that had previously killed were suddenly quickly curable. Yet as Maryn McKenna shares in this sobering talk, we’ve squandered the advantages afforded us by that and later antibiotics. Drug-resistant bacteria mean we’re entering a post-antibiotic world — and it won’t be pretty. There are, however, things we can do … if we start right now.”

Changing biocides often can limit bacteria’s ability to mutate, become immune to treatment

biocidesAntibiotic resistance is one of the great global challenges facing modern medicine. Biocides and disinfectants can expand multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) and resistance in bacteria. Because bacteria have the ability to build immunity to biocides – often rapidly – it is important to change often the biocides you use to limit their ability to become immune.

Parallel evolutionary pathways to antibiotic resistance selected by biocide exposure, a study published in the Journal of Microbial Chemotherapy, concludes that “exposure of bacteria to biocides can select for antibiotic-resistant mutants and this is mediated by clinically relevant mechanisms of resistance prevalent in human pathogens.”

Some other notable takes from the study: 

  • Prevention of infection is of paramount importance as the outcomes of infection with an antibiotic-resistant bacterial strain are often more severe than those of infections with antibiotic-susceptible strains
  • Many antimicrobial products are present in the environment at low levels;25 here we showed that exposure to sub-lethal concentrations of all the biocides evaluated resulted in the selection of antibiotic-resistant mutants.
  • Many antimicrobial products are present in the environment at low levels;25 here we showed that exposure to sub-lethal concentrations of all the biocides evaluated resulted in the selection of antibiotic-resistant mutants.
  • The role of environmental selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by biocides should be considered by government agencies as policies to control antibiotic-resistant bacteria are formulated and implemented.

Here’s a piece that can help with making the right choices in sanitization and disinfection procedures.