CDC: Aggressive Action Needed to Contain Antibiotic Resistance

Bacteria harboring unusual resistance genes are widespread, according to a CDC report
Bacteria harboring unusual resistance genes are widespread, according to a CDC report

HealthDay News — Early aggressive action should be taken to prevent the spread of bacteria harboring unusual resistance genes, according to a report published April 3 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the report, new nationwide testing identified 221 instances of unusual resistance genes in "nightmare bacteria" in 2017. In screening tests, 11% of non-symptomatic individuals had a hard-to-treat bacteria that spreads easily; 25% of the bacteria tested had genes that allow them to spread their resistance. 

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The containment strategy, which should be launched at the first sign of unusual resistance, keeps new threats from spreading. All health care facilities should know what isolates to send for testing; they should also develop a plan for rapid response to unusual genes and bacteria harboring these genes. The quality and consistency of infection control should be assessed in health care facilities across the state. Coordination with affected health care facilities, new Antibiotic Resistance Lab Network regional labs, and the CDC is important for every case of unusual resistance. Onsite infection control assessment and colonization screening are necessary to detect exposure and spread.

"It's reassuring to see that state and local experts, using our containment strategy, identified and stopped these resistant bacteria before they had the opportunity to spread," CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., said in a statement.

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