Antibiotic resistance among hospital-acquired infections is much greater than prior CDC estimates

August 1, 2013, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor

The rise of antibiotic resistance among hospital-acquired infections is greater than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in its 2008 analysis, according to an ahead-of-print article in the journal, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

The article also finds that the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) promise to "reboot" antibiotic development rules a year ago to combat the rise in resistance has fallen short.

The commentary, whose authors include Brad Spellberg, MD, a Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) infectious disease specialist, analyzed privately gathered data and concluded antibiotic resistance among hospital-acquired infections is "at crisis levels." The FDA's "reboot" pledge to encourage the development of to battle this resistance "cannot come too soon" but "will not be enough," the authors conclude.

"With antibiotic-resistant microbes infecting more than 2 million Americans every year and killing more than 100,000 annually, we must act to find new weapons in the global battle against deadly Superbugs," said Dr. Spellberg, M.D., who authored "Rising Plague," a book on antibiotic resistance. "Our analysis found the rise in antibiotic resistance among three common forms of hospital-acquired infections is much greater than previously reported by the CDC based on older data, leading us to conclude that more than an FDA 'reboot' is needed. To encourage antibiotic development, the pharmaceutical industry must see that there is a path for a return on its investment in antibiotic development."

The authors found "very positive aspects" in the FDA's most recent guidance for antibacterial therapies for patients with unmet medical needs. But they said the FDA's approach to the development of in traditional indications, such as pneumonia and , "has been mixed."

Their findings on the rise on among hospital-acquired infections include:

  • The resistance for acinetobacter (A. baumannii) to carbapenems is more than 50%. The CDC found it to be 11%. Carbapenems are among the last available antibiotics. If they don't work, only one or two other drugs are left to battle these infections. Neither is very effective, and one is highly toxic.
  • The resistance among E. coli to third generation cephalosporins (a class of antibiotics) was 8-11%. The CDC found it to be 5%.
  • The resistance to klebsiella (K. pneumonia) to third generation cephalosporins was 20-27%. The CDC found it to be 15%. Resistance to carbapenems among these isolates is now between 7 and 11%.
  • Carbapenems are already obsolete for a common Intensive Care Unit , Acinetobacter baumannii. "This holds true for both intensive care and non-intensive care patients and for urinary and non-urinary infections," the commentary says.

"None of the antibiotics under development today can address all of these antibiotic-resistant infections," said Dr. Spellberg. "A complete overhaul of the approaches to resistance, disease and prevention could change the continuing upward trajectory of antibiotic resistant infections. To do anything less invites a bleak post-antibiotic future, in which infectious diseases once again reign supreme."

Explore further: Antibiotic reduction campaigns do not necessarily reduce resistance

Related Stories

Antibiotic reduction campaigns do not necessarily reduce resistance

July 29, 2013
Antibiotic use—and misuse—is the main driver for selection of antibiotic resistant bacteria. This has led many countries to implement interventions designed to reduce overall antibiotic consumption. Now, using methicillin ...

Novel approaches needed to end growing scourge of 'superbugs'

January 23, 2013
With the rising awareness of the so-called "superbugs," bacteria that are resistant to most known antibiotics, three infectious disease experts writing in the Jan. 24 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine called ...

Outpatients, hospital patients face growing, but different problems with antibiotic resistance

April 18, 2013
A new study concludes that problems with antibiotic resistance faced by outpatients may be as bad as those in hospitalized patients, and that more studies of outpatients are needed – both to protect their health and to ...

Getting better without antibiotics

May 30, 2013
Given the option, many women with symptoms of urinary tract infections are choosing to avoid antibiotics and give their bodies a chance to heal naturally, finds research in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Family ...

Antibiotics: Change route of delivery to mitigate resistance

June 26, 2013
New research suggests that the rapid rise of antibiotic resistance correlates with oral ingestion of antibiotics, raising the possibility that other routes of administration could reduce the spread of resistance. The manuscript ...

Internet-based training could help in the fight against antibiotic resistance

July 31, 2013
Antibiotic prescribing rates for acute respiratory tract infections could be significantly lowered using internet-based training for clinicians, new research has shown.

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.