Tag Archives: Bacteria

The World Health Organization (WHO) Ranks Worlds Most Deadliest “Superbugs” In the World

 

the WHO has ranked world’s most deadly “Superbugs” in the world:

Three bacteria were listed as critical:

  • Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria that are resistant to important antibiotics called carbapenems. These are highly drug resistant bacteria that can cause a range of infections for hospitalized patients, including pneumonia, wound, or blood infections.
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which are resistant to carbapenems. These bacteria can cause skin rashes and ear infectious in healthy people but also severe blood infections and pneumonia when contracted by sick people in the hospital.
  • Enterobacteriaceae that are resistant to both carbepenems and another class of antibiotics, cephalosporins. This family of bacteria live in the human gut and includes bugs such as E. coli and Salmonella.

The list, which was released February 27th, 2017 and enumerates 12 bacterial threats, grouping them into three categories: critical, high, and medium.

“Antibiotic resistance is growing and we are running out of treatment options. If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time,” said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health systems and innovation.

The international team of experts who drew up the new list urged researchers and pharmaceutical companies to focus their efforts on a type of bacteria known as Gram negatives.

(The terminology relates to how the bacteria respond to a stain — developed by Hans Christian Gram — used to make them easier to see under a microscope.)

Dr. Nicola Magrini, a scientist with the WHO’s department of innovation, access and use of essential medicines, said pharmaceutical companies have recently spent more efforts trying to find antibiotics for Gram positive bacteria, perhaps because they are easier and less costly to develop.

Gram negative bacteria typically live in the human gut, which means when they cause illness it can be serious bloodstream infections or urinary tract infections.

Gram positive bacteria are generally found outside the body, on the skin or in the nostrils.

Kieny said the 12 bacteria featured on the priority list were chosen based on the level of drug resistance that already exists for each, the numbers of deaths they cause, the frequency with which people become infected with them outside of hospitals, and the burden these infections place on health care systems.

Paradoxically, though, she and colleagues from the WHO could not provide an estimate of the annual number of deaths attributable to antibiotic-resistant infections. The international disease code system does not currently include a code for antibiotic-resistant infections; it is being amended to include one.

Six (6) others were listed as high priority for new antibiotics. That grouping represents bacteria that cause a large number of infections in otherwise healthy people. Included there is the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, for which there are almost no remaining effective treatments.

Three (3)  other bacteria were listed as being of medium priority, because they are becoming increasingly resistant to available drugs. This group includes Streptococcus pneumoniae that is not susceptible to penicillin. This bacterium causes pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, as well as meningitis and blood infections.

The creation of the list was applauded by others working to combat the rise of antibiotic resistance.

“This priority pathogens list, developed with input from across our community, is important to steer research in the race against drug resistant infection — one of the greatest threats to modern health,” said Tim Jinks, head of drug-resistant infections for the British medical charity Wellcome Trust.

“Within a generation, without new antibiotics, deaths from drug-resistant infection could reach 10 million a year. Without new medicines to treat deadly infection, lifesaving treatments like chemotherapy and organ transplant, and routine operations like caesareans and hip replacements, will be potentially fatal.”

FULL LIST:

Priority 1: Critical
1. Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant
2. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant
3. Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing

Priority 2: High
4. Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant
5. Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant
6. Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant
7. Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
8. Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant
9. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant

Priority 3: Medium
10. Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-non-susceptible
11. Haemophilus influenzae, ampicillin-resistant
12. Shigella spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant

 

to read the article in its entirety click on the link below to be redirected:

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-who-has-ranked-the-deadliest-superbugs-in-the-world-2017-2

Blood Test Developed By N.C. Researchers Is Able To Distinguish Between Viral and Bacterial Infections

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In the news *

 

 

A new blood test developed by researchers in North Carolina has been shown to distinguish between viral and bacterial infections.

The blood test has been designed to measure the gene expression of certain components of the immune system, which should allow doctors to identify whether the infection a patient is suffering from is bacterial or viral.

This distinction is crucial, as bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, whereas viral infections cannot, and prescribing antibiotics for viral infections only adds to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

‘Antibiotic resistance has been described as ‘one of the biggest health threats of our time’…’

Antibiotic resistance has been described as ‘one of the biggest health threats of our time’, and bold warnings have been issued explaining that if we do not refine our use of the drugs, in the future we may no longer be able to perform routine operations or use chemotherapy, and many could end up dying from illnesses commonly treatable today.Antibiotics work by targeting properties of bacteria that are unique and fundamental to them, such as blocking their ability to synthesize proteins or damaging their cell wall. The reason antibiotics can work so well is because the properties we target have no counterparts in human cells and therefore treatment can be given with minimal side effects on ourselves.

The problem of resistance arises as bacteria mutate, and there are a number of ways in which bacteria can do this. One way bacteria can counter the effects of antibiotics is by altering the drug’s target, such as the cell wall, so it is no longer vulnerable to the antibiotic. Bacteria can also create enzymes which inactivate the antibiotic or can create a ‘pump’ to remove the drug from their cells.

It only takes a single bacterium to acquire one of these changes to result in an antibiotic resistant infection. Bacteria multiply at a very fast rate and thus if even one bacterium mutates, and the antibiotic clears every other normal bacterial cell involved in the infection, that single mutated bacterium can rapidly divide, increase in numbers resulting in an antibiotic resistant infection.

‘The overuse of antibiotics makes it far more likely that bacteria will acquire mutations that make them resistant…’

An astounding 50% of antibiotics prescribed are given to patients in unnecessary circumstances, such as in viral infection. The properties of viruses are very different to bacteria and therefore antibiotics are ineffective against infections caused by viruses. The overuse of antibiotics makes it far more likely that bacteria will acquire mutations that make them resistant, meaning our antibiotics are slowly but surely becoming ineffective.

The new blood test developed by scientists at Duke University in North Carolina managed to distinguish between bacterial and viral infection with an accuracy of 87% in a study on 317 patient blood samples.

Here in the UK, the Longitude Prize, a £10 million grant, was chosen by the public to be invested in antibiotic research with the aim to design a test that will conclusively distinguish between bacterial and viral infection.

The new blood test in question could provide a good foundation for further research to be done, allowing conclusive and accurate diagnosis of bacterial infection. Unfortunately, the blood test requires ten hours of analysis and so would be of minimal use in a GP environment where most over-prescription takes place. However, with the Longitude Prize pushing for new research into a quick and easy test to confirm bacterial infection, this new blood test has the potential to do big things for such a topical issue.

 

To read the article in its entirety click on the link below:

 

http://www.redbrick.me/tech/new-blood-test-distinguishes-viral-bacterial-infections/

Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles California Introduces New High-Tech Disinfecting Robots

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Half a million square feet. More than 350 beds. And tomorrow, they clean it all over again. Every day, Environmental Services  staff members work to disinfect every surface in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, playing a crucial behind-the-scenes role in preventing infections and keeping patients safe. Now, on top of scrubbing, spraying, mopping and wiping, they can add another action – zapping.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150915006821/en/

“Cleaning is a fundamental function of any healthcare facility, and our housekeepers may go unnoticed because their work disinfecting the hospital often happens before patients even get to their rooms,” says Jill Hoffman, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and medical director of infection prevention and control at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “We arm our doctors and nurses with high-tech tools and surgical robots, and now we are doing the same for those on the front line of our battle against infections.”

As hospitals across the country look for new, innovative ways to battle pathogens and multi-drug resistant organisms that put patients at risk, and as flu season draws closer, CHLA has introduced four new non-human team members that can annihilate potentially lethal germs and bacteria lurking in hard-to-reach places.

CHLA’s four new Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots™ – affectionately named Charlie, Ziggy, Phoenix and R2Clean2 – use pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV-C) light, thousands of times more powerful than sunlight, to quickly destroy harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and even bacterial spores. The portable disinfection system takes about 20 minutes per room – for a total of about an hour when combined with traditional cleaning techniques – and is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C-diff), norovirus, influenza and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Supplementing the work of more than 200 top-notch EVS/housekeeping staff, this new technology gives CHLA another tool to provide hospitalized infants, children and young adults the safest experience possible.

“Adding another layer of protection to our already robust infection prevention protocols allows us to be even more proactive in protecting our patients,” says Hoffman. “Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is nationally and internationally recognized for patient care, and even one hospital-acquired infection is one too many. These robots can help us advance towards our goal of zero infections.”

In fact, during a brief trial run with a Xenex robot earlier this year, CHLA was able to see a 10 percent reduction in infection rates in areas of the hospital tested. Other hospitals that have used the robots for longer periods have reported even more dramatic reductions – more than 50 percent in some cases – in C. diff and MRSA rates.

Antibiotic with Glowing Results

New breakthrough with Antibiotics and treating infections:

Glowing Antibiotic can locate the infection:  An image of a mouse injected with hind limb infections (blue) and then a fluorescent variant of the antibiotic vancomycin (red). Credit: Ed Lim

 

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Low doses of a fluorescent antibiotic can accurately track bacterial infection in real-time, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, which were detected in the mouse seen above.  

Quoted: “To track the accuracy of the antibiotic, both strains of bacteria were engineered to be bioluminescent (in blue in photo above).”

Video: How To Spot an Infection:

To read the article in its’ entirety click on the link below:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2013/10/15/glowing-antibiotic-can-locate-where-infections-are-video/