Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
A landmark report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives the first snapshot of the toll and threat antibiotic-resistance poses to US health. The report ranks each threat and proposes four core actions to tackle the growing problem.
Antibiotic-resistance occurs when an infection does not respond to the drug developed to treat it because the germs have since changed in ways that make them immune to it.
Every year, more than two million Americans get infections that are resistant to antibiotics and more than 23,000 die as a result.
As well as taking a considerable toll on health and life, antibiotic resistance is a huge economic burden for a health system that is already strained.
Studies suggest antibiotic resistance is responsible for some $20 billion direct health care costs and another $35 billion a year in lost productivity.
Once rare outside of hospitals, antibiotic-resistant infections are now increasingly arising in the community.
CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a news conference on Monday:
"Antibiotic resistance is rising for many different pathogens that are threats to health. If we don't act now, our medicine cabinet will be empty and we won't have the antibiotics we need to save lives."
Steve Solomon, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Resistance at the CDC adds:
"These drugs are a precious, limited resource - the more we use antibiotics today, the less likely we are to have effective antibiotics tomorrow."
The public health agency says the single biggest cause of antibiotic resistance is use of antibiotics, and up to half of all antibiotics prescribed for patients are either unnecessary or prescribed inappropriately.
Another heavy user of antibiotics is farming, where animals are given antibiotics to prevent, control and treat disease, and also to promote growth. The CDC says it is just as important to use antibiotics judiciously here as with humans.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued guidance on how to use antibiotics responsibly in animal farming. The agency has also banned the use of certain antibiotics in food-producing animals.
"Every time antibiotics are used in any setting, bacteria evolve by developing resistance. This process can happen with alarming speed," says Solomon.
Loss of effective antibiotics will have a serious impact on patients with other diseases who then acquire infections. Also, people who undergo hip replacements, receive organ transplants, have cancer therapy, and other treatments, all depend on antibiotics to help them deal with any infections that might arise.
Without effective antibiotics, the ability to offer potentially life-saving and life-transforming procedures disappears.
In compiling the report, the CDC assessed threats posed by antibiotic-resistant infections according to seven factors: impact on health, impact on economy, how common the infection is, how common it could be in 10 years' time, how easily it spreads, availability of effective antibiotics and how difficult it is to prevent.
From the results of this assessment, they then classed antibiotic-resistant infections as "urgent," "serious," or "concerning."
Infections classed as urgent include those caused by:
The CDC urges four core actions to focus on in the fight against antibiotic-resistance:
For more information on drug resistance, visit the CDC information hub Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance.
Written by Catharine Paddock PhD
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
Antibiotics Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 (pdf); US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed 17 Sep 2013.
Additional source: CDC media release 16 September 2013.
Visit our MRSA / Drug Resistance category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Paddock, Catharine. "CDC issues actions against drug-resistant bacteria threat." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 18 Sep. 2013. Web.
8 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266182>
Paddock, C. (2013, September 18). "CDC issues actions against drug-resistant bacteria threat." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266182.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.