Healthcare Infection Control
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a serious global threat of growing concern to human, animal, and environment health. This is due to the emergence, spread, and persistence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria or “superbugs.”5 MDR bacteria exist across the animal, human, and environment triangle or niche and there is interlinked sharing of these pathogens in this triad. The plausible causes of “the global resistome” or AMR include excessive use
of antibiotics in animals (food, pets, aquatic) and humans, antibiotics sold over-the-counter, increased international travel, poor sanitation/hygiene, and release of nonmetabolized antibiotics or their residues into the environment through manure/feces. These factors contribute to genetic selection pressure for the emergence of MDR bacterial infections in the community. Recently, the global consumption of antimicrobials in livestock has indicated the hotspots of antibiotics use across the continents that will have economic and public health impacts in the years to come. In food animals, antibiotics are commonly used in cattle, chicken, and pigs and it is projected that in 2030 such use will increase up to 67% in the most populated countries of the world.
2019 AR Threats Report
CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2019 (2019 AR Threats Report) includes the latest national death and infection estimates that underscore the continued threat of antibiotic resistance in the U.S.
According to the report, more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result. In addition, 223,900 cases of Clostridioides difficile occurred in 2017 and at least 12,800 people died.
Dedicated prevention and infection control efforts in the U.S. are working to reduce the number of infections and deaths caused by antibiotic-resistant germs, but the number of people facing antibiotic resistance is still too high. More action is needed to fully protect people.
CDC is concerned about rising resistant infections in the community, which can put more people at risk, make spread more difficult to identify and contain, and threaten the progress made to protect patients in healthcare. The emergence and spread of new forms of resistance remains a concern.
The report lists 18 antibiotic- resistant bacteria and fungi into three categories based on level of concern to human health—urgent, serious, and concerning— and highlights:
• Estimated infections and deaths since the 2013 report
• Aggressive actions taken
• Gaps slowing progress
The report also includes a Watch List with three threats that have not spread resistance widely in the U.S. but could become common without a continued aggressive approach.
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