June 01, 2018


 Rapid response reduces spread of drug resistance

Posted May 9, 2018

Aggressive containment of emerging antimicrobial-resistant pathogens can reduce risks they will spread in health care facilities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In an April 6 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, agency officials describe results of an antimicrobial resistance and control strategy in human health care. In 2017, the agency implemented a program for rapid detection of resistant pathogens, infection control interventions when a single resistant isolate is found, screening tests on people who were in contact with those infected or colonized with pathogens, coordination among health authorities and their organizations, and addition of lasting controls.

The report (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:396-401) is available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr.

In the first nine months of 2017, testing through the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network found 221 instances of rare carbapenemase-producing bacteria that a related announcement describes as "nightmare bacteria" containing genes that convey resistance to most or all antimicrobials used in susceptibility tests. The MMWR indicates that those bacteria were among about 6,000 carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates tested.

In 1,500 screening tests of people with no symptoms, 11 percent were colonized by carbapenemase-producing bacteria that are both difficult to treat and easily spread. Those screening tests were conducted among people who had contact in health care centers with people who were infected or colonized with those bacteria.

The report indicates the containment approach advocated by the CDC was used in some facilities that had single identifications of carbapenem-resistant isolates without any known transmission.

The agency's announcement states that "With new resources nationwide, early and aggressive action—when even a single case is found—can keep germs with unusual resistance from spreading in health care facilities and causing hard-to-treat or even untreatable infections. "