Tag Archives: Fighting Antibiotic Resistance

Highlights Of the Latest Advances In the Battle Against the Deadly Pathogen – Dale Gerding, MD

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TO READ THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY AS PUBLISHED IN THE MD MAGAZINE — PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK TO BE REDIRECTED:

 

http://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/c-diff-foundation-highlights-latest-advances-in-the-battle-against-the-deadly-pathogen

In September, researchers, health care workers, and industry and patient advocates convened for the 4th Annual International Raising C. diff Awareness Conference and Health Expo in Atlanta.

Clifford McDonald, MD, Associate Director for Science in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chaired the conference. In his role at the CDC, McDonald’s at the forefront of efforts to prevent and treat the infection – one the CDC has declared among the most urgent drug-resistant threats that we currently face.

“It’s my firm belief that we are on the threshold of a new era in better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention approaches. At the CDC, we deal with statistics, but there are faces behind those numbers. At the heart of every infection is a patient who deserves our competence, our empathy, and our passion,” said McDonald.

One of those faces, Roy Poole, is a volunteer patient advocate for the  C Diff Foundation. After retiring from a career in the Air Force, Poole led a healthy, active lifestyle as an avid outdoors-man in Colorado before antibiotics prescribed for a routine dental procedure set the stage for CDI. In the medical community, his symptoms were met with disbelief and inappropriate treatment.

“Three weeks after leaving the hospital, I walked into my (previous) primary care physician, and asked for an order to have a stool sample taken to determine if Toxins A or B were present. His response was, ‘Are you still having problems with that?’ Clearly, there is a need for more education about C. diff among physicians,” said Poole.

CDI is a formidable opponent. However, with the newly focused attention on discovering ways to disable the bacteria and cohesive public health approaches aimed at prevention, presenters from government, academia and industry offered five key reasons we can win the battle against C. diff:

Antibiotic stewardship efforts are gaining a foothold.
Statistics present a chilling picture: 453,000 new cases and an estimated 30,000 deaths each year. It’s likely that those numbers grossly underestimate the true impact of CDI, since it’s what we know from death certificate reporting.

However, we are seeing that rates may have peaked after a long plateau. Mark Wilcox, MD, Head of Microbiology at Leeds Teaching Hospital, Professor of Medical Microbiology at University of Leeds, and the lead on Clostridium difficile for Public Health England in the United Kingdom, has demonstrated a 70% reduction in cases in England in just 7 years. This was after a concerted effort that Wilcox spearheaded surrounding antibiotic stewardship, specifically addressing a reduction in unnecessary prescribing of fluoroquinolones and cephalosporin antibiotics.

Commonly prescribed antibiotics disrupt the protective microbiota (the normal bacteria of the gut) and leave it vulnerable for C. diff colonization. “There was a concerted effort that went beyond lip service and truly embraced the principles of improved surveillance, more accurate diagnostics, enhanced infection prevention measures to use antibiotics more wisely and to limit transmission and careful treatment,” said Wilcox.

High rates of CDI are always associated with the use of certain antibiotics: clindamycin, cephalosporin, and fluoroquinolones. Research has shown that lower respiratory tract infections and urinary tract infections account for more than 50% of all in-patient antibiotics use. But are these really necessary?

“We know that antibiotics are overused and misused across every healthcare setting. At least 30% of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary – and this equates to 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions per year written in doctors’ offices, hospital outpatient departments, and emergency departments. We have a lot of work to do, and CDC is actively working to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use,” said Arjun Srinivasan, MD at the CDC. “Stopping unnecessary antibiotics is the single most effective thing we can do to curb C. diff infections in the United States. This is something that we can do today.”

Srinivasan acknowledged that telling patients that they can’t have a prescription for an antibiotic might result in some pushback. “Patient satisfaction scores are a very real concern. When someone is sick and takes a day off work, they’re not leaving without a prescription – especially when the last provider wrote one for their same symptoms,” he said. “But this is a new day, and it’s up to the physician to educate their patients and stay strong.”

Hospitalists have access to accurate, inexpensive and quick diagnostic tests that can lead to targeted, effective treatment. This can arm the treating physician and patient with information that can put patients on a path to recovery without feeling like they are being dismissed.

Emerging guidance reflects important advances in research and development.

Most recently published in 2010, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Clinical Practice Guidelines for C. diff are currently under review. This is critical because of the number of physicians still treating with metronidazole first, despite the fact that the largest randomized controlled clinical trial has shown that vancomycin is more effective.

“Since 2010, the landscape has changed dramatically,” said Stuart B. Johnson, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine, Loyola University, and Researcher at the Hines VA Hospital in Chicago.

“The past few years have ushered in a new age of understanding how and where C. diff colonizes, and the damaging toxins A and B that it produces.”

Considering that 25-30% of patients experience a CDI recurrence, it’s evident that metronidazole unnecessarily contributes to the failed treatment outcomes for patients. Metronidazole is less expensive, but has more side effects than oral vancomycin and is less effective in treating CDI.

Johnson provided an overview of the dramatic advances this space has seen in just the past few years.

Limitations of current guidelines include:
•       No mention of fidaxomicin, a narrow-spectrum antibiotic, which in 2011 was the first medication approved in 25 years for the treatment of C. diff associated diarrhea
•       Limited evidence for recommendations to treat severe, complicated CDI
•       Limited evidence for recommendations on recurrent CDI
•       Little mention of Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT)

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5.  Patient advocacy and awareness efforts can alter the course of CDI.
CDI survivors shared their experiences along their emotional journey – fear, disbelief, isolation, and depression. They also expressed gratitude at the validation, information and support they received from the patient advocacy community. Perhaps the greatest gift they have received is the empowerment to question their physicians about the necessity of antibiotics they have been prescribed in terms of risk of CDI.

“The hospital where I was treated initially seemed eager to have me leave. They offered no additional help. The C diff Foundation has been my greatest source of help. In turn, I feel I help myself cope best, when I help others to cope with the disease,” said Poole.

TO READ THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY AS PUBLISHED IN THE MD MAGAZINE 

PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK TO BE REDIRECTED —- THANK YOU

http://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/c-diff-foundation-highlights-latest-advances-in-the-battle-against-the-deadly-pathogen

 

Dale Gerding, MD, FACP, FIDSA, is Professor of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago, Research Physician at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. Additionally, Gerding is an infectious disease specialist and hospital epidemiologist, past president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and past chair of the antibiotic resistance committee of SHEA. He is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and past chair of the National and Global Public Health Committee and the Antibiotic Resistance Subcommittee of IDSA. His research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of Clostridium difficile, antimicrobial resistance, and antimicrobial distribution and kinetics.

The paper, “Burden of Clostridium difficile Infection in the United States,” was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, “Changing epidemiology of Clostridium difficile infection following the intriduction of a national ribotyping-based surveillance scheme in England,” was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study, “Prevalence of antimicrobial use in US acute care hospitals,” was published in JAMA.

The paper, “Vancomycin, metronidazole, or toleyamer for Clostridium difficile infection: results from two multinaionalm randomized, controlled trials,” was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study, “A Randomized Placebo-controlled Trial of Saccharomyces boulardii in Combination with Standard Antibiotics for Clostridium difficile disease,” was published in JAMA.

Super-bugs Capture Attention As A Worldwide Health Threat

About 2 million Americans catch drug-resistant infections each year, and 23,000 die, according to the CDC.

As superbugs capture attention as a worldwide health threat, Washington University will be part of a national campaign against drug-resistant bacteria with a $2 million federal grant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded $14 million to 25 medical schools and other organizations for research into how microorganisms in the body, known as the microbiome, can track and prevent infections by outsider, drug-resistant germs.

“Understanding the role the microbiome plays in antibiotic-resistant infections is necessary to protect the public’s health,” Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director, said in a statement. “We think it is key to innovative approaches to combat antibiotic resistance, protect patients, and improve antibiotic use.”

The microbiome includes “good” bacteria and other beneficial organisms that live in the skin and in the digestive and respiratory tracts. Antibiotics that are supposed to fight “bad” bacteria can disrupt the natural habitat by unbalancing the good and bad. Then drug-resistant bacteria can take over and create an environment for out-of-control bugs, including methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and clostridium difficile (C. diff.).

Overexposure to antibiotics has been blamed for the rise in superbugs, with the CDC estimating that one in three antibiotic prescriptions is unnecessary.

The research project will look at how early exposure to antibiotics affects the development of the microbiome and whether there are better ways to protect the microbiome.

Four teams of researchers at Washington University were named to the local project:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Henderson will lead a team working to identify how diet and metabolism interact with the gut microbiome in a study to combat C. diff. intestinal infections.
  • A team led by Gautam Dantas will study the long-term effects of antibiotic therapy in premature infants and how their digestive microbiomes are affected.
  • Dr. Jennie Kwon will study antibiotics and the microbiome as it relates to pneumonia.
  • Dr. Brian Gage will help look at hemorrhages linked to the use of blood thinners.

The United Nations General Assembly focused on superbugs — in a rare discussion of health issues. The meeting comes after a new superbug resistant to last-resort antibiotics infected a Pennsylvania woman over the summer, and a resistant strain of E. coli was recently found in a 2-year-old Connecticut girl.

The CDC recommends increased testing for the superbug gene among certain types of E. coli bacteria that show resistance to the powerful antibiotic colistin. The gene spreads readily among bacteria, and it could make these multi-drug-resistant strains almost impossible to treat.

A cluster of gonorrhea infections in Hawaii has shown resistance to all treatments. Doctors are increasingly worried that the common sexually transmitted disease is gaining strength as one of the most urgent superbug threats. If untreated, the disease can lead to infertility.

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

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/antibiotic-resistance-focus-of-washington-university-and-national-research-project/article_b192afec-7dbe-59b8-8e06-5e64b7d8795c.html

Thanks and Appreciation To Our Guests For Joining Us On C. diff. Spores And More Season II

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As Season II concludes, we wish to take this opportunity to sincerely thank each
and every guest for taking time out of their
busy schedule and joining us on Tuesday’s at
10:00a Pacific Time / 1:00p Eastern Time over the past seven months.

C. diff. Spores and More Global Broadcasting Network will be taking a break and will return to live broadcasting on  January 17th, 2017 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) leading the way with our guest
Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra, Medical Officer, CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship.

A Prescription for Over-Prescribing: The Key to Fighting
Antibiotic Resistance

Dr. Fleming-Dutra is a medical epidemiologist with the Office of Antibiotic Stewardship in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Fleming-Dutra is a pediatrician and pediatric emergency medicine physician and has focused on infectious diseases epidemiology and antibiotic stewardship in the outpatient setting in her career at CDC.

Join Dr. Fleming-Dutra as she discusses a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, was released showing that at least 30 percent of all prescriptions written in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms are completely unnecessary. So how do we use these alarming results to transform the culture of over-prescribing Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra, M.D., will:

  • Give a detailed explanation of the study results, and provide an in-depth review of specific findings;
  • Highlight what CDC is doing to promote antibiotic stewardship across healthcare settings, and
  • Identify what clinicians, other health care professionals, and patients can do to improve antibiotic prescribing, therefore fighting antibiotic resistance.

 

C diff Radio™ Live Broadcast AND Podcasts

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An educational program that is dedicated to  C. difficile Infections  and more–

 

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Hard Facts: Deaths and illnesses are much higher than reports have shown. Nearly half a million Americans suffered from Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infections in a single year according to a study released today, February 25, 2015, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

• More than 100,000 of these infections developed among residents of U.S. nursing homes.

Approximately 29,000 patients died within 30 days of the initial diagnosis of a C. diff. infection. Of these 29,000 – 15,000 deaths were estimated to be directly related to a
C. diff. infection. Therefore; C. diff. is an important cause of infectious disease death in the U.S.

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Previous studies indicate that C. diff. has become the most common microbial cause of Healthcare-Associated Infections found in U.S. hospitals driving up costs to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs in acute care facilities alone. Approximately
two-thirds of C. diff. infections were found to be associated with an inpatient stay in a health care facility, only 24% of the total cases occurred in patients while they were hospitalized. The study also revealed that almost as many cases occurred in nursing homes as in hospitals and the remainder of individuals acquired the
Healthcare-Associated infection, C. diff., recently discharged from a health care facility.

This new study finds that 1 out of every 5 patients with the Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI), C. diff., experience a recurrence of the infection and 1 out of every 9 patients over the age of 65 diagnosed with a HAI – C. diff. infection died within 30 days of being diagnosed. Older Americans are quite vulnerable to this life-threatening diarrhea infection. The CDC study also found that women and Caucasian individuals are at an increased risk of acquiring a C. diff. infection. The CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, MD, MPH said, “C. difficile infections cause immense suffering and death for thousands of Americans each year.” “These infections can be prevented by improving antibiotic prescribing and by improving infection control in the health care system. CDC hopes to ramp up prevention of this deadly infection by supporting State Antibiotic Resistance Prevention Programs in all 50 states.”

“This does not include the number of C. diff. infections taking place and being treated in other countries.”  “The  C Diff Foundation supports hundreds of communities by sharing the Foundation’s mission and  raising C. diff. awareness to healthcare professionals, individuals, patients, families,  and communities working towards a shared goal ~  witnessing a reduction of newly diagnosed C. diff. cases by 2020 .”   ” The C Diff Foundation volunteer Advocates are greatly appreciated and continue to create positive changes by sharing their time  aiding in the success of our mission “Raising C. diff. awareness ™”  worldwide.

C. diff. Spores and More ™“ spotlights world renowned topic experts, research scientists, healthcare professionals, organization representatives, C. diff. survivors, board members, and their volunteers who are all creating positive changes in the
C. diff.
community and more.

Through their interviews, the C Diff Foundation mission will connect, educate, and empower listeners worldwide.

Questions received through the show page portal will be reviewed and addressed  by the show’s Medical Correspondent, Dr. Fred Zar, MD, FACP,  Dr. Fred Zar is a Professor of Clinical Medicine, Vice HeZarPhotoWebsiteTop (2)ad for Education in the Department of Medicine, and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Over the last two decades he has been a pioneer in the study of the treatment of Clostridium difficile disease and the need to stratify patients by disease severity.

 

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We look forward to sharing time with our worldwide listeners when we return in January, Season III. 

Until then………………

We send out get-well wishes to everyone being treated for and recovering from a C. difficile infection and all wellness draining illnesses worldwide.

“None of us can do this alone – All of us can do this together!”

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/

Using Antibiotics Wisely, How Everyone Can Help In the Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance Worldwide

Did you have the opportunity to listen  to the live broadcast on “C. diff. Spores and More Global Broadcasting Network”  on Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 with guests Dr. Lori Hicks and Dr. Arjun Srinivasan from  the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ?

Dr. Hicks and Dr. Srinivasan discussed how to use antibiotics wisely and how everyone can help in the fight against antibiotic-resistance.

This important  information  is now available to you on demand by clicking directly on the logo below

 

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For additional information on Inpatient Antibiotic Stewardship please click on the following link:

http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/healthcare/inpatient-stewardship.html

 

To access the CDC Get Smart Program, please click on the following link to be redirected:

http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/index.html

 

 

C. diff. Spores and More” programming is brought to you by VoiceAmerica  and sponsored by Clorox Healthcare

For more information please visit the C. diff. Spores and More program page:

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