Antibiotic Resistance: Urgent Health Threat Jeopardizing Modern Medicine

Posted on by DHQP
Estimated minimum 2,049,442  illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic resistance
Estimated minimum 2,049,442 of illnesses and 23,000 deaths are caused by antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance, the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of drugs, is perhaps the single most important infectious disease threat of our time.  Although some people are at greater risk than others, no one can completely avoid the risk of antibiotic-resistant infections. These infections affect real people and they can be horrible for patients. Infections with resistant organisms are difficult to treat, requiring costly and sometimes toxic alternatives. Resistant infections account for at least $20 billion in excess direct healthcare costs and up to $35 billion in lost productivity due to hospitalizations and sick days each year.

Every year, more than two million people in the United States get infections that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a result. Clostridium difficile (C. diff), a serious diarrheal infection usually associated with antibiotic use, causes about 250,000 hospitalizations and at least 14,000 deaths every year in the United States.

CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative is a comprehensive approach that fully implements CDC’s portions of the National Action Plan for combating resistance. The overall fiscal year 2016 budget proposes a historic investment to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria to protect public health. The proposed $264 million for CDC, part of the broader national strategy, would facilitate action in every state, accelerate outbreak detection and prevention innovation, and improve antibiotic use and reduce antibiotic resistance.

Anticipated reduction rate in multidrug-resistant organisms is down 60% for Healthcare CRE, 50% for Overall C. difficile, 50% for Bloodstream MRSA, 35% for Healthcare MDR Pseudomonas, 25% MDR Salmonella, 25% for Invasive Pneumococcal (Pediatric and Geriatric), 15% for MDR Tuberculosis, and 2% for MDR Gonorrhea
Anticipated reduction rate is down 60% for Healthcare CRE

CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Solutions Initiative [PDF – 862 KB] proposes additional efforts in a variety of areas, including:

The FY16 budget also supports a $14 million increase for the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) [PDF – 335 KB]— the nation’s leading system to track healthcare-associated infections, including antibiotic resistance and antibiotic use—as a companion to CDC’s FY16 Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative, supporting multiple goals under the National Strategy, including new activities to better understand and monitor sepsis, leading to enhanced prevention to save lives.

Antibiotic Resistance happens when there are lots of germs. A few of which are drug resistant. Antibiotics kill bacteria causing the illness, as well as good bacteria protecting the body from infection. The drug-resistant bacteria are now allowed to grow and take over. Some bacteria give their drug-resistance to other bacteria, causing more problems.
How Antibiotic Resistance Happens

If we lose antibiotics, we also lose the ability to treat sepsis, cancer, provide organ transplants, and save victims of burns and trauma. Antibiotics and all they support will become obsolete. CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Solution Initiative provides an opportunity to respond now, while we wait for new drugs to be discovered and explored. Bacteria will inevitably find ways of resisting the antibiotics developed by humans, which is why aggressive action is always needed to keep new resistance from developing and to prevent the resistance that already exists from spreading. 

To learn more about the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative and view infographics on how the Initiative will fight drug resistance, visit CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance website.

Posted on by DHQP

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Page last reviewed: November 18, 2016
Page last updated: November 18, 2016