Antibiotic resistance is poised to spread rapidly around the globe among bacteria frequently implicated in respiratory and urinary infections, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
A STUDY FROM RESEARCHERS AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE IN ST. LOUIS, BARNES-JEWISH HOSPITAL AND THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY IN PAKISTAN HAS FOUND EVIDENCE THAT TWO GENES FOR RESISTING POWERFUL ANTIBIOTICS CAN SPREAD EASILY AMONG COMMON TYPES OF BACTERIA AND COULD SOON RENDER THE DRUGS ALMOST USELESS IN SOME PATIENTS WITH INFECTIONS. JIM DRYDEN HAS MORE
THE RESEARCHERS FOCUSED ON A SPECIFIC GROUP OF ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT BUGS THAT CAUSE INFECTIONS, ACCORDING TO WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY RESEARCHER GAUTAM DANTAS.
(act) :26 o/c hospital-acquired infections
And these are the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.
So carbapenems are one of these late-generation antibiotics,
and the reason theyre important is theyre really, really
potent drugs, unless you happen to get resistant to them.
And Enterobacteriaceae include things like E. Coli, Enterobacter.
You find them in the environment. You find them on hospital
surfaces, and theyre the ones that, for that reason, cause
these hospital-acquired infections.
DANTAS SAYS HOSPITAL-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS ARE A BIG PROBLEM RELATED TO THESE BUGS THAT HAVE BECOME RESISTANT BECAUSE PEOPLE IN THE HOSPITAL ARE SICK ALREADY AND NOT AS ABLE TO FIGHT INFECTIONS. WHEN THAT FACT IS PAIRED WITH THE FACT THAT MANY OF THE BUGS ARE NOW RESISTANT TO SOME OF THE MOST POWERFUL ANTIBIOTICS, DANTAS SAYS THERES A BIG PROBLEM.
(act) :20 o/c multi-drug resistant
Theyve rapidly started acquiring resistance to all of the
late-generation drugs where now for some of them, if you
happen to be immunocompromised, your risk of dying from
one of these infections, just shot up above 50 percent.
The fact that you get an infection from one of these bugs
at a time when your body cant fight it off, and now we
dont have any drugs to fight them because theyre multi-
DANTAS SAYS THOSE RESISTANT BUGS ARE LINKED TO THE DEATHS OF TWO PATIENTS IN A CALIFORNIA HOSPITAL EARLIER THIS YEAR. AND HE SAYS THE PATHOGENS TEND TO HAVE ONE OF TWO KEY RESISTANCE GENES, KNOWN AS KPC AND NDM1. THE FIRST WAS INITIALLY DETECTED IN NEW YORK IN 2001. THE SECOND HAS BEEN FOUND MAINLY IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT. BUT BOTH GENES ALLOW BUGS TO RESIST THE POWERFUL CARBAPENEM ANTIBIOTICS.
(act) :18 o/c other drugs
The second problem is that those genes happen to have
popped into exactly the most transmissible genetic elements,
these plasmids. And KPC and this other gene, NDM1, happen to
have popped into these plasmids, which already have tons
of other antibiotic resistance genes, which can wipe out
all of the other drugs.
PLASMIDS, DANTAS SAYS, ARE KIND OF LIKE SMALL CHROMOSOMES THAT THE BUGS CAN EASILY TRANSMIT TO OTHER BACTERIA TO MAKE THEM RESISTANT TO ANTIBIOTICS, TOO.
(act) :31 o/c between bacteria
Unlike humans, where theres 23 pairs of chromosomes, a bacteria
has a single chromosome. All of its DNA is in one big,
contiguous piece. Plasmids are simply accessory chromosomes,
and theyre much smaller. And the reason theyre important is
unlike the chromosome, one of the things that bacteria do is
they can maintain many, many copies of these accessory plasmids.
Theres more of them around, and most of them or at least
most of the ones that are problematic from the perspective of
antibiotic resistance are easy to pass between bacteria.
AND DANTAS SAYS A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE CURRENTLY CARRYING BUGS IN THEIR BODIES THAT CONTAIN THESE RESISTANCE GENES.
(act) :18 o/c be immoncompromised
Most of those people are not immunocompromised, so theyre not
going to be sick, and its going to be no problem. But, they
happen to now be potential vectors of a bug that can kill
someone else who happens to be immunocompromised.
THE STUDY APPEARS IN THE JOURNAL EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES. IM JIM DRYDEN…