by Karen Buckheit, Director Microbiology and Prevention Services
The CDC reported that bacteria resistant to antibiotics used as the the last line of defense were found more than 200 times in the US within the last year. In the first nine months of 2017, 5,770 samples were tested for these "nightmare bacteria" and 25% were found to harbor genes that make these bacteria difficult to treat. These strains were not isolated to certain geographical areas but were identified in 27 of 50 states.
The majority of these resistant bacterial infections occur in hospitals or care facilities where patients require IVs or catheters, which can become infected. Additional infections occurred in patients that had received treatment outside of the US where drug-resistant organisms are more common and were detected once the patient returned to the US. Even individuals not presenting with symptoms can carry the drug-resistant bacteria, in fact the CDC reported that 11% of people in close contact with infected patients also carried the same nightmare bacteria.
While hand washing can go a long way in preventing the spread of resistant bacteria, only novel or more potent next generation antibiotics will help individuals infected with these dangerous organisms. Our arsenal of antibiotics to fight resistant infections is critically low and new antibiotics are urgently needed.
ImQuest BioSciences is dedicated to providing support and expertise to both commercial and academic groups fighting against the spread of antibiotic resistant organisms and we are committed to helping drug development companies identify unique and novel antibiotics. Through our MicroSENS platform, we have the ability to screen compounds against panels of bacteria with varying resistant profiles representing clinically-relevant gram-positive and gram-negative organisms including clinically important multi-drug resistant ESKAPE pathogens. Contact us to learn more and discuss ways that we can help the world wake up from the nightmare of untreatable bacterial infections.