Ramanan Laxminarayan, Director of Extending the Cure, and Keith P. Klugman, Professor of Global Health at Emory University describe a novel index for tracking resistance in a report published in this week's British Medical Journal Open.
Similar to a Consumer Price Index (CPI) but for drug resistance, the tool accumulates information of resistance trends and antibiotic use into one single measure of antibiotic resistance over time. The DRI is designed for application at any level, from local hospitals to national healthcare system surveillance. It can be used by hospitals to track their own resistance levels and to measure their own success of interventions, such as antibiotic stewardship and infection control programs.
The researchers explain how the index can be applied to evaluate trends in resistance linked to two disease-causing microorganisms, namely Escherichia coli and Acinetobacter baumannii. It is also able to highlight how physicians adapt to resistance trends. In this analysis for example, the index displayed how physicians were able to use other drugs for treating resistant strains of E. coli infections, and how very few options remained for treating Acinetobacter, a super bug, which is more and more resistant to all available antibiotics. Laxminarayan declared:
"Mapping the geography of antibiotic use and summarizing their effectiveness with a Drug Resistance Index bring us one step closer to the solutions we urgently need in order to curtail this public health crisis. If we do nothing, resistance will continue to develop and our most valuable antibiotics ultimately will fail."
Written by Petra Rattue