This Topic Covers:
The problems with antibiotics; an overview of MRSA and how to treat with proven
natural alternative methods. What you can do to protect yourself and your family
with alternatives to antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.
Antimicrobial Resistance a Global Concern?
Should I Be Concerned about Antibiotic Resistance?
Bacteria Becoming Resistant to Antibiotics?
Antibiotic Use in Food-Producing Animals
Antibiotic Resistance Food Safety Problem
Bacteria Become Resistant to Antibiotics?
Resistance Threats in the United States
with a Threat Level of Urgent
with a Threat Level of Serious
Community-Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA)
CA-MRSA Infection Prevention
HA-MRSA Infection Prevention
How Do You Protect
for Treatment of Antibiotic Resistance
Should Know Before Taking Antibiotics
What Should Be
What is Being Done?
Holistic Treatments for Antimicrobial
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Scientists around the world have provided
strong evidence that antibiotic use in food-producing animals can harm
bacteria can contaminate the foods that come from animals that serve as
carriers of resistant bacteria, and people who consume these foods can
develop antibiotic-resistant infections.1
It is important to have a better understanding of the
flow of resistant genes—from the hospital ward to our communities, from one
country to another, and from farms to people.
- © Copyright IDSA - The Infectious Diseases Society of America
The discovery of antibiotics in the 1930s fundamentally
transformed the way physicians care for patients, shifting their approach
from a focus on diagnoses without means to intervene into a
treatment-focused approach that saves lives. Now, nearly 70 years later,
we’ve reached a critical point in treating infectious diseases: new drugs
are not being developed at anywhere near the pace necessary to keep ahead of
the natural ability of bacteria to evolve and defend themselves against
antibiotics. The result is that some of our most powerful drugs are becoming
Antimicrobial resistance is recognized as one of the
greatest threats to human health worldwide.
Drug-resistant infections take a staggering toll in
the United States and across the globe. Just one organism,
methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), kills more Americans
every year than emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, and homicide
Nearly 2 million Americans per year
develop hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), resulting in 99,000 deaths –
the vast majority of which are due to antibacterial-resistant pathogens.
Two common HAIs alone (sepsis and pneumonia) killed
nearly 50,000 Americans and cost the U.S. health care system more than $8
billion in 2006.
Based on studies of the costs of infections caused
by antibiotic-resistant pathogens versus antibiotic-susceptible pathogens,
the cost to the U.S. health care system of antibiotic resistant infections
is $21 billion to $34 billion each year and more than 8 million additional
Antibiotics are becoming less and less effective, in
part due to over-prescription and inappropriate use.
New antibiotic development has slowed to a
standstill due to market failure and regulatory disincentives. Antibiotics
aren’t as profitable as other drugs (e.g., drugs to treat diabetes or
asthma, which patients take for years). Also, the US Food and Drug
Administration has long delayed publishing workable guidances describing how
companies should design antibiotic clinical trials. Moreover, once a new
antibiotic makes it to market, physicians hold it in reserve for only the
worst cases rather than rushing to use it on all their patients due to fear
of drug resistance. These economic and regulatory disincentives have made it
far too difficult for companies to continue developing new antibiotics.
If we do not act immediately we face a future that
may resemble the days before these “miracle” drugs were developed; one in
which people die of common infections, and where many medical interventions
we take for granted – including surgery, chemotherapy, organ transplantation
and care for premature infants – become impossible.
now, 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are used for industrial
agriculture, and most of these drugs are routinely fed to animals to make
them grow faster and compensate for filthy conditions," said Hauter. "This
is done to help the meat industry execute on its highly consolidated
business model for profit. And the American public pays through
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
In 2012 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented
that people in 42 states had been infected with CRE bacteria.
Even the antibiotics known as ‘the last resort’ medications no longer
work and have made some infections impossible to cure.
Antibiotic overuse increases the development
of drug-resistant bacteria.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This report, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the
United States, 2013 gives a first-ever snapshot of the burden and threats
posed by the antibiotic-resistant germs having the most impact on human
Each year in the United States, at least 2 million
people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and
at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.
Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an
Antibiotic-resistant infections can happen anywhere.
Data show that most happen in the general community; however, most deaths
related to antibiotic resistance happen in healthcare settings such as
hospitals and nursing homes.
Copyright © 1996-2014
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming -
Doctors routinely warn patients that antibiotics should
be used only to treat bacterial infections, at the proper dosage, and for
the full course of treatment because failure to follow these rules increases
the likelihood that some of the bacteria will survive and mutate to become
drug resistant. Yet many large producers of meat and
poultry feed antibiotics to their healthy food animals simply to offset the
effects of overcrowding and poor sanitation, as well as to promote faster
In fact, up to 70 percent of
all antibiotics sold in the United States go to healthy food animals.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all testified before
Congress that there was a definitive link between
the routine, non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in food animal production
and the crisis of antibiotic resistance in humans. This position is
supported by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of
Pediatrics, and other leading medical groups who all warn that
the injudicious use of antibiotics in food animals
presents a serious and growing threat to human health because the practice
creates new strains of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
percent of antibiotics sold in the United States are destined for food
these drugs are fed in low doses to livestock that are confined in
unsanitary and overcrowded conditions on industrial farms, the perfect
breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and a serious threat to
human health. Unfortunately, there is almost no publicly released data on
how these antibiotics are being used for food animal production. This
critical information is needed to better track antibiotic-resistant bacteria
and determine whether policies to alleviate the problem are working.
www.who.int - World Health Organization
AMR kills - Infections
caused by resistant microorganisms often fail to respond to the standard
treatment, resulting in prolonged illness and greater risk of death. The
death rate for patients with serious infections treated in hospitals is
about twice that in patients with infections caused by non-resistant
AMR hampers the control of
infectious diseases - AMR reduces the effectiveness of treatment,
thus patients remain infectious for a longer time, increasing the risk of
spreading resistant microorganisms to others.
AMR threatens a return to the
pre-antibiotic era - Many infectious diseases risk becoming
untreatable and uncontrollable, which could derail the progress made towards
reaching the targets of the health-related United Nations Millennium
Development Goals set for 2015.
AMR increases the costs of
health care - When infections become resistant to first-line
medicines, more expensive therapies must be used. The longer duration of
illness and treatment, often in hospitals, increases health-care costs and
the economic burden to families and societies.
AMR jeopardizes health-care
gains to society - The achievements of modern medicine are put at
risk by AMR. Without effective antimicrobials for care and prevention of
infections, the success of treatments such as organ transplantation, cancer
chemotherapy and major surgery would be compromised.
AMR threatens health security,
and damages trade and economies - The growth of global trade and
travel allows resistant microorganisms to be spread rapidly to distant
countries and continents through humans and food.
Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria or
other microbes to resist the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance
occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the
effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or
prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply causing
Why Should I
Concerned about Antibiotic Resistance?
Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the
world's most pressing public health problems. Almost every type of bacteria
has become stronger and less responsive to antibiotic treatment when it is
really needed. These antibiotic-resistant bacteria can quickly spread to
family members, schoolmates, and co-workers - threatening the community with
a new strain of infectious disease that is more difficult to cure and more
expensive to treat. For this reason, antibiotic resistance is among CDC's
Antibiotic resistance can cause significant danger and
suffering for children and adults who have common infections, once easily
treatable with antibiotics. Microbes can develop resistance to specific
medicines. A common misconception is that a person's body becomes resistant
to specific drugs. However, it is microbes, not people that become resistant
to the drugs.
If a microbe is resistant to many drugs, treating the infections it causes
can become difficult or even impossible.
Someone with an infection that is resistant to a certain medicine can pass
that resistant infection to another person. In this way, a hard-to-treat
illness can be spread from person to person. In some cases, the illness can
lead to serious disability or even death.
Why Are Bacteria Becoming Resistant
Antibiotic use promotes development of
antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Every time a person takes antibiotics,
sensitive bacteria are killed, but resistant germs may be left to grow and
multiply. Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics are primary causes of
the increase in drug-resistant bacteria.
While antibiotics should be used to treat bacterial
infections, they are not effective against viral infections
like the common
cold, most sore throats, and the flu. Widespread use of antibiotics promotes
the spread of antibiotic resistance. Smart use of antibiotics is the key to
controlling the spread of resistance.
The germs that contaminate
food can be resistant because of the use of antibiotics in people and in
food animals. We can prevent many of these infections with careful
antibiotic use and by keeping Salmonella, and other bacteria out of the food
Recent outbreaks in 2011, 2011-2012,
and 2013 of
multi-resistant Salmonella traced to ground beef and poultry show how animal
and human health are linked.
Antibiotic Use in Food-Producing Animals
Scientists around the world have provided strong
evidence that antibiotic use in food-producing animals can have a negative
impact on public health through the following sequence of events:
Use of antibiotics in food-producing animals allows
antibiotic-resistant bacteria to thrive while susceptible bacteria are
suppressed or die;
Resistant bacteria can be transmitted from
food-producing animals to humans through the food supply;
Resistant bacteria can cause infections in humans;
Infections caused by resistant bacteria can result
in adverse human health consequences.
Because of the link between antibiotic use in
food-producing animals and the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant infections
in humans, CDC encourages and supports efforts to minimize inappropriate use
of antibiotics in humans and animals.
Antibiotic resistance is a food
safety problem for several reasons. First, antibiotic resistance is
increasing to some antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones and
third-generation cephalosporins. These antibiotics are commonly used to
treat serious infections caused by bacterial pathogens frequently found in
food, such as Salmonella and Campylobacter.
Each year, several million people in the
United States are infected with Salmonella and Campylobacter, which usually
cause diarrhea that lasts about a week. Antibiotics are not recommended for
treatment of most of these diarrheal illnesses, but are used to prevent
complications in infants, persons with weakened immune systems, and older
Antibiotics may be life-saving for several thousand
people each year who have serious invasive infections, such as bacteremia
(infection in the bloodstream) and meningitis (infection of the lining of
the brain and spinal cord).
A second reason that antibiotic
resistance is a food safety problem is that more people may become ill.
Ordinarily, healthy persons who consume a few Salmonella may carry them for
a few weeks without having any symptoms, because those few Salmonella are
held in check by the normal bacteria in their intestines.
However, even a few antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in
food can cause illness if the person who consumes the contaminated food then
takes an antibiotic for another reason. The
antibiotic can kill normal bacteria in the gut, letting a
few Salmonella that ordinarily would be unlikely to cause illness, take over
and cause illness.
A third possible reason that
antibiotic resistance is a food safety problem is that the food supply may
be a source of antibiotic-resistant genes. Harmless bacteria present
in food-producing animals could be resistant, and humans could acquire these
bacteria when they eat meat products from these animals.
Once ingested, resistant genes from these bacteria
could be transferred to bacteria that cause disease. Quantifying the extent
to which this contributes to a food safety problem is difficult.
Resistant Bacteria in Food Chain
widespread use of antibiotics in food animal production systems has resulted
in the emergence of antibiotic resistant zoonotic bacteria that can be
transmitted to humans through the food chain. Infection with antibiotic
resistant bacteria negatively impacts on public health, due to an increased
incidence of treatment failure and severity of disease.
"superbugs" have become an urgent public health concern, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention warned on Monday, echoing years of research by groups
such as Food & Water Watch who warn that the
overuse of antibiotics on
leads to drug-resistant infections.
“For organism after organism, we’re seeing this
steady increase in resistance rates,” the CDC’s director, Dr. Thomas
Frieden, told Reuters in
a telephone interview. “We don’t have new drugs about to come out of the
pipeline. If and when we get new drugs, unless we do a better job of
protecting them, we’ll lose those, also.”
As the CDC reports,
the overuse of antibiotics on
both humans and farm animals is the "most important factor leading to
antibiotic resistance around the world."
Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed
drugs used in human medicine. However, up to 50% of all the antibiotics
prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as
prescribed. Antibiotics are also commonly used in
food animals to prevent, control, and treat disease, and to promote the
growth of food-producing animals.
This overuse allows the targeted bacteria to
eventually build resistance to those drugs. When humans are exposed to those
bacterias, antibiotics are less likely to combat infection. As the report
states, “much of antibiotic use in animals is unnecessary and inappropriate
and makes everyone less safe."
use of antibiotics for promoting [farm animal] growth is not necessary, and
the practice should be phased out,"
the report continues.
is scary stuff,
and we want people to
know about it,” said Dr.
Steve Solomon, the director of the CDC’s Office of Antimicrobial Resistance.
"The link between
sub-therapeutic use in food animals and antibiotic-resistance in humans is
clear, and we must follow through on the Center’s recommendations to
stop the misuse of antibiotics in farm animals," Wenonah Hauter, executive
director of Food & Water Watch, stated Monday following
the release of the report.
Resistance Food Safety Problem
www.responsibletechnology.org - Copyright © The Institute for
Unlike safety evaluations for drugs, there are no human clinical
trials of GM foods. The only published human feeding experiment revealed
that the genetic material inserted into GM soy transfers into bacteria
living inside our intestines and continues to function. This means that
long after we stop eating GM foods, we may still have their GM proteins
produced continuously inside us. This could mean:
Although no studies have evaluated if antibiotic
or Bt-toxin genes transfer, that is one of the key problems. The safety
assessments are too superficial to even identify most of the potential
dangers from GMOs. See our Health
Risks brochure and State
of the Science
report for more details and citations.
If the antibiotic gene inserted into most GM
crops were to transfer, it could create super diseases, resistant to
If the gene that creates Bt-toxin in GM corn
were to transfer, it might turn our intestinal bacteria into living
How Do Bacteria
Become Resistant to Antibiotics?
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces
or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents
designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to
multiply causing more harm. Bacteria can do this through several mechanisms.
Some bacteria develop the ability to neutralize the antibiotic before it can
do harm, others can rapidly pump the antibiotic out, and still others can
change the antibiotic attack site so it cannot affect the function of the
Antibiotics kill or inhibit
the growth of susceptible bacteria. Sometimes one of the bacteria survives
because it has the ability to neutralize or escape the effect of the
antibiotic; that one bacterium can then multiply and replace all the
bacteria that were killed off. Exposure to antibiotics therefore provides
selective pressure, which makes the surviving bacteria more likely to be
resistant. In addition, bacteria that were at one time susceptible to an
antibiotic can acquire resistance through mutation of their genetic material
or by acquiring pieces of DNA that code for the resistance properties from
The DNA that codes for resistance can be grouped in a
single easily transferable package. This means that bacteria can become
resistant to many antimicrobial agents because of the transfer of one piece
Trends in Drug
similar drugs, together called antimicrobial
agents, have been used for the last 70 years to treat patients who have
infectious diseases. Since the 1940s, these drugs have greatly reduced
illness and death from infectious diseases. Antibiotic use has been
beneficial and, when prescribed and taken correctly, their value in patient
care is enormous. However, these drugs have been used so widely and for so
long that the infectious organisms the antibiotics are designed to kill have
adapted to them, making the drugs less effective. Many fungi, viruses, and
parasites have done the same. Some microorganisms may develop resistance to
a single antimicrobial agent (or related class of agent), while others
develop resistance to several antimicrobial agents or classes. These
organisms are often referred to as multidrug-resistant or MDR strains.
In some cases, the microorganisms have become so
resistant that no available antibiotics are effective against them.
Reports of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (MRSA)—a potentially dangerous type of staph bacteria that is
resistant to certain antibiotics and may cause skin and other
infections—in persons with no links to healthcare systems have been
observed with increasing frequency in the United States and elsewhere
around the globe.
The agricultural use of antibiotics in
food-producing animals also contributes to the emergence, persistence,
and spread of resistant bacteria. Resistant bacteria can be transmitted
to humans through the foods we eat.
Multi-drug resistant Klebsiella species
and Escherichia coli have been isolated in hospitals throughout the
pneumoniae infections have significantly declined, but remain a concern
in some populations.
Antimicrobial resistance is emerging among some
fungi, particularly those fungi that cause infections in transplant
patients with weakened immune systems.
Antimicrobial resistance has also been noted with
some of the drugs used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
infections and influenza.
The development of antimicrobial resistance to the
drugs used to treat malaria infections has been a continuing problem in many
parts of the world for decades. Antimicrobial resistance has developed to a
variety of other parasites that cause infection.
As antibiotic resistance grows, the antibiotics used to
treat infections do not work as well or at all. The loss of effective
antibiotic treatments will not only cripple the ability to fight routine
infectious diseases but will also undermine treatment of infectious
complications in patients with other diseases. Many of the advances in
medical treatment—joint replacements, organ transplants, cancer therapy, and
treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, rheumatoid
arthritis—are dependent on the ability to fight infections with antibiotics.
If that ability is lost, the ability to safely offer people many life-saving
and life-improving modern medical advantages will be lost with it. For
People receiving chemotherapy
are often at risk for developing an infection when their white blood cell
count is low. For these patients, any infection can
quickly become serious and effective antibiotics are critical for
protecting the patient from severe complications or death.
Transplant recipients are more
vulnerable to infections. Because a patient undergoes complex surgery
and receives medicine to weaken the immune system for a year or more, the
risk of infection is high. It is estimated that 1% of organs transplanted in
the United States each year carry a disease that comes from the donor—either
an infection or cancer. Effective antibiotics help ensure that organ
transplants remain possible.
Patients who receive cardiac
bypass, joint replacements, and other complex surgeries are at risk of a
surgical site infection (SSI). These infections can make recovery
from surgery more difficult because they can cause additional illness,
stress, cost, and even death. For some, but not all surgeries, antibiotics
are given before surgery to help prevent infections.
Inflammatory arthritis affects
the immune system, which controls how well the body fights off infections.
People with certain types of arthritis have a higher risk of getting
infections. Also, many medications given to treat inflammatory arthritis can
weaken the immune system. Effective antibiotics help ensure that arthritis
patients can continue to receive treatment.
Patients who undergo dialysis
treatment have an increased risk for getting a bloodstream infection.
In fact, bloodstream infections are the second leading cause of death in
dialysis patients. Infections also complicate heart disease, the leading
cause of death in dialysis patients. Infection risk is higher in these
patients because they have weakened immune systems and often require
catheters or needles to enter their bloodstream. Effective antibiotics help
ensure that dialysis patients can continue to receive life-saving treatment.
Hospital Setting Anti-Resistant Germs
CRE infections are spreading, and urgent action is needed to stop them.
CRE, which stands for
carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, are a family of germs that are
difficult to treat because they have high levels of resistance to
species and Escherichia coli (E. coli) are examples of Enterobacteriaceae, a
normal part of the human gut bacteria, that can become carbapenem-resistant.
Types of CRE are sometimes known as KPC (Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase)
and NDM (New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase). KPC and NDM are enzymes that
break down carbapenems and make them ineffective.
Healthy people usually do not get CRE infections. In
healthcare settings, CRE infections most commonly occur among patients who
are receiving treatment for other conditions. Patients whose care requires
devices like ventilators (breathing machines), urinary (bladder) catheters,
or intravenous (vein) catheters, and patients who are taking long courses of
certain antibiotics are most at risk for CRE infections.
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
(APIC) also states,
to get a
CRE infection, a person must be exposed to CRE bacteria. CRE bacteria are
most often spread person-to-person in healthcare settings specifically
through contact with:
Some CRE bacteria have become resistant to most
available antibiotics. Infections with these germs are very difficult to
treat, and can be deadly—one report cites they can contribute to death in up
to 50% of patients who become infected.
Untreatable and hard-to-treat
infections from CRE germs
are on the rise among patients in medical facilities.
CRE germs have become resistant to all or nearly all the antibiotics we
have today. Types of CRE include KPC and NDM. By following CDC
guidelines, we can halt CRE infections before they become widespread in
hospitals and other medical facilities and potentially spread to otherwise
healthy people outside of medical facilities.
CRE infections can be
Medical facilities in several states have reduced
CRE infection rates by following CDC's prevention guidelines (see box).
Israel decreased CRE infection rates in all 27 of
its hospitals by more than 70% in one year with a coordinated prevention
The US is at a critical
time in which CRE infections could be controlled if addressed in a
rapid, coordinated, and consistent effort by doctors, nurses, lab
staff, medical facility leadership, health departments/states, policy
makers, and the federal government.
Although CRE germs are not very common, they have increased from 1% to
4% in the past decade. One type of CRE has increased from 2% to 10%.
CRE are more common in some US regions, such as the Northeast, but 42
states report having had at least one patient test positive for one type
About 18% of long-term acute care hospitals and about 4% of short-stay
hospitals in the US had at least one CRE infection during the first half
CRE's ability to spread themselves and their resistance raises the
concern that potentially untreatable infections could appear in
otherwise healthy people.
Antibiotics in Health Care
Misuse of antibiotic drugs harm in another way, too, by destroying the good
bacteria that normally live in your gut. For example, almost 250,000 hospital patients each year
are infected with the bacterium Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, and
14,000 of them die. Those infections develop when antibiotics, which are
often prescribed unnecessarily in the hospital, wipe out protective bacteria
than normally live in your stomach, allowing C. diff to get a foothold.
www.cdc.gov - Drug Resistance Threat Report-2013 pdf
Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 is a snapshot of the
complex problem of antibiotic resistance today and the potentially
catastrophic consequences of inaction.
The overriding purpose of this report is to increase
awareness of the threat that antibiotic resistance poses and to encourage
immediate action to address the threat. This
document can serve as a reference for anyone looking for information about
antibiotic resistance. It is specifically designed to be accessible
to many audiences. For more technical information, references and links are
This report covers bacteria causing severe human
infections and the antibiotics used to treat those infections…The report
consists of multiple one or two page summaries of cross-cutting and
bacteria- specific antibiotic resistance topics.
The first section provides context and an overview of
antibiotic resistance in the United States. In addition to giving a national
assessment of the most dangerous antibiotic
resistance threats, it summarizes what is known about the burden of illness,
level of concern, and antibiotics left to defend against these infections.
(Excerpts of)… fact sheets about antibiotic safety and
the harmful impact that resistance can have on high-risk groups…Regarding
level of concern, CDC has — for the first time — prioritized bacteria in
this report into one of three categories: urgent,
serious, and concerning:
MICROORGANISMS WITH A THREAT LEVEL OF URGENT
Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae
(C. difficile) causes life-threatening diarrhea. These infections mostly
occur in people who have had both recent medical care and antibiotics.
Often, C. difficile infections occur in hospitalized or recently
RESISTANCE OF CONCERN
Although resistance to the antibiotics used to
treat C. difficile infections is not yet a problem, the bacteria spreads
rapidly because it is naturally resistant to many drugs used to treat
In 2000, a stronger strain of the bacteria emerged.
This strain is resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which are
commonly used to treat other infections.
This strain has spread throughout North America and
Europe, infecting and killing more people
wherever it spreads.
PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
250,000 infections per year requiring
hospitalization or affecting already hospitalized patients.
14,000 deaths per year.
At least $1 billion in excess medical costs per
Deaths related to C. difficile increased 400%
between 2000 and 2007, in part because of a stronger bacteria strain
Almost half of infections occur in people younger
than 65, but more than
90% of deaths occur in people 65 and older.
About half of C. difficile infections first show
symptoms in hospitalized or recently hospitalized patients, and half
first show symptoms in nursing home patients or in people recently cared
for in doctors’ offices and clinics.
hard-to-treat infections from
Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria are on the rise among
patients in medical facilities. CRE have become resistant to all or nearly
all the antibiotics we have today. Almost half of hospital patients who get
bloodstream infections from CRE bacteria die from the infection.
RESISTANCE OF CONCERN
Some Enterobacteriaceae are resistant to nearly all
antibiotics, including carbapenems, which are often considered the
antibiotics of last resort.
More than 9,000 healthcare-associated infections
are caused by CRE each year.
CDC laboratories have confirmed at least one type
of CRE in healthcare facilities in 44 states.
About 4% of U.S. short-stay hospitals had at least
one patient with a serious CRE infection during the first half of 2012.
About 18% of long-term acute care hospitals had one.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes
gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted
disease that can result in discharge and inflammation at the urethra,
cervix, pharynx, or rectum.
RESISTANCE OF CONCERN
N. gonorrhoeae is showing resistance to antibiotics
usually used to treat it. These drugs include:
PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
Gonorrhea is the
second most commonly reported notifiable infection in the United States and
is easily transmitted. It causes severe reproductive complications and
disproportionately affects sexual, racial, and ethnic minorities. Gonorrhea
control relies on prompt identification and treatment of infected persons
and their sex partners. Because some drugs are less effective in treating
gonorrhea, CDC recently updated its treatment guidelines to slow the
emergence of drug resistance. CDC now recommends only ceftriaxoneplus either
azithromycin or doxycycline as first-line treatment for gonorrhea.
The emergence of cephalosporin resistance,
especially ceftriaxone resistance, would greatly limit treatment options and
could cripple gonorrhea control efforts.
WITH A THREAT LEVEL OF SERIOUS
- About 63% of Acinetobacter is considered
multidrug-resistant, meaning at least three
different classes of antibiotics no longer cure Acinetobacter infections.
- Campylobacter usually causes diarrhea (often bloody),
fever, and abdominal cramps, and sometimes causes serious complications such
as temporary paralysis.
Physicians rely on drugs like ciprofloxacin and
azithromycin for treating patients with severe disease. Resistant infections
sometimes last longer. Campylobacter is showing resistance to:
PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
Campylobacter is estimated to cause approximately 1.3
million infections, 13,000 hospitalizations, and 120 deaths each year in the
United States. CDC is seeing resistance to ciprofloxacin in almost 25% of
Campylobacter tested and resistance to azithromycin in about 2%. Costs are
expected to be higher for resistant infections because antibiotic-resistant
Campylobacter infections sometimes last longer.
Campylobacter spreads from animals to people through
contaminated food, particularly raw or undercooked chicken and unpasteurized
milk. Infections may also be acquired through contact with animals and by
drinking contaminated water. Antibiotic use in food animals can result in
resistant Campylobacter that can spread to humans. Resistant Campylobacter
are common in many countries and cause illness in travelers.
Key measures to prevent resistant infections include:
hands, cutting boards, utensils, sinks, and countertops.
raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods.
Cook: Use a food
thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal
Chill: Keep your
refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate food that will spoil.
Avoid drinking raw milk and untreated water.
Report suspected illness from food to your local
Don’t prepare food for others if you have diarrhea
Be especially careful preparing food for children,
pregnant women, those in poor health, and older adults.
Consume safe food and water when traveling abroad.
Fluconazole-resistant Candida (a fungus) - is a
fungal infection caused by yeasts of the genus Candida.
There are more than 20 species of Candida yeasts that
can cause infection in humans, the most common of which is Candida albicans.
Candida yeasts normally live on the skin and mucous membranes without
causing infection. However, overgrowth of these microorganisms can cause
symptoms to develop. Symptoms of candidiasis vary depending on the area of
the body that is infected.
Candida is the fourth most common cause of
healthcare-associated bloodstream infections in the United States. In some
hospitals it is the most common cause. These infections tend to occur in the
sickest of patients.
Extended spectrum β-lactamase producing
Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLs) is an enzyme that allows bacteria to
become resistant to a wide variety of penicillins and cephalosporins.
ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae are resistant to strong antibiotics
including extended spectrum cephalosporins.
RESISTANCE OF CONCERN
Some Enterobacteriaceae are resistant to
In these cases, the remaining treatment
option is an antibiotic from the carbapenem family.
These are drugs of last resort, and use of them
is also contributing to resistance (see CRE fact sheet).
Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
cause a range of illnesses, mostly among patients receiving healthcare, but
include bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, and urinary tract
Nearly 26,000 (or 19%)
healthcare-associated Enterobacteriaceae infections are caused by
Patients with bloodstream infections
caused by ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae are about 57% more likely to
die than those with bloodstream infections caused by a non
RESISTANCE OF CONCERN
Enterococcus often cause infections among very sick
patients in hospitals and other healthcare-settings.
Some Enterococcus strains are resistant to
vancomycin, an antibiotic of last resort, leaving few or no treatment
About 20,000 (or 30%) of Enterococcus
healthcare-associated infections are vancomycin resistant.
(Multidrug-resistant) Pseudomonas aeruginosa
is a common cause of
healthcare-associated infections including pneumonia, bloodstream
infections, urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections.
RESISTANCE OF CONCERN
Some strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa have been found
to be resistant to nearly all or all antibiotics including aminoglycosides,
cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, and carbapenems.
Approximately 8% of all healthcare-associated
infections reported to CDC’s
National Healthcare Safety Network are caused by
About 13% of severe healthcare-associated
infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa are multidrug resistant,
meaning several classes of antibiotics no
longer cure these infections.
non-typhoidal Salmonella (serotypes other than Typhi, Paratyphi A,
Paratyphi B, and Paratyphi C) usually causes diarrhea (sometimes bloody),
fever, and abdominal cramps. Some infections spread to the blood and can
have life-threatening complications.
RESISTANCE OF CONCERN
Physicians rely on drugs, such as ceftriaxone and
ciprofloxacin, for treating patients with complicated Salmonella infections.
Resistant infections are more severe and have higher hospitalization rates.
Non-typhoidal Salmonella is showing resistance to:
PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
Non-typhoidal Salmonella causes approximately 1.2
million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths each year in the
United States. Direct medical costs are estimated to be $365 million
annually. CDC is seeing resistance to ceftriaxone in about 3% of
non-typhoidal Salmonella tested, and some level of resistance to
ciprofloxacin in about 3%. About 5% of non-typhoidal Salmonella tested by
CDC are resistant to five or more types of drugs. Costs are expected to be
higher for resistant than for susceptible infections because resistant
infections are more severe, those patients are more likely to be
hospitalized, and treatment is less effective.
(Drug-resistant) Salmonella serotype Typhi causes typhoid fever, a
potentially life-threatening disease. People with typhoid fever usually have
a high fever, abdominal pain, and headache. Typhoid fever can lead to bowel
perforation, shock, and death.
RESISTANCE OF CONCERN
Physicians rely on drugs such as ceftriaxone,
azithromycin, and ciprofloxacin for treating patients with typhoid fever.
Salmonella serotype Typhi is showing resistance to:
PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
Salmonella Typhi causes approximately 21.7 million
illnesses worldwide. In the United States,
it causes approximately 5,700 illnesses and 620
hospitalizations each year. Most illnesses occur in people who travel to
some parts of the developing world where the disease is common.
Travel-associated infections are more likely to be antibiotic resistant.
CDC is seeing some level of resistance to
ciprofloxacin in two-thirds of Salmonella Typhi tested. CDC has not yet seen
resistance to ceftriaxone or azithromycin in the United States, but this has
been seen in other parts of the world…
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- If you’re traveling to a country where typhoid fever is common:
Get vaccinated against typhoid fever before you
Choose foods and drinks carefully while traveling
even if you are vaccinated. That means: boil it, cook it, peel it, or
Boil or treat water yourself.
Eat foods that are hot and steaming.
Avoid raw fruits and vegetables unless you peel
Avoid cold food and beverages from street vendors.
If you get sick with high fever and a headache
during or after travel, seek medical care at once and tell the
healthcare provider where you have traveled.
Shigella usually causes diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, and
abdominal pain. Sometimes it causes serious complications such as reactive
arthritis. High-risk groups include young children, people with inadequate
hand washing and hygiene habits, and men who have sex with men.
Resistance to traditional first-line drugs such as
ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole has become so high that
physicians must now rely on alternative drugs like ciprofloxacin and
azithromycin to treat infections. Resistant infections can last longer than
infections with susceptible bacteria (bacteria that can be treated
effectively with antibiotics). Shigella is showing resistance to:
PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
Shigella causes approximately 500,000 diarrheal
illnesses, 5,500 hospitalizations, and 40 deaths each year in the United
States. CDC is seeing resistance to ciprofloxacin in 1.6% of the Shigella
cases tested and resistance to azithromycin in approximately 3%. Because
initial treatment can fail, costs are expected to be higher for resistant
Don’t prepare food for others if you have diarrhea
Keep children who have diarrhea and who are in
diapers out of child care settings and swimming pools.
Avoid sexual behavior that is likely to transmit
infection when you have diarrhea.
Consume safe food and water when traveling abroad.
(or pneumococcus) is the leading cause of
bacterial pneumonia and meningitis in the United States. It also is a major
cause of bloodstream infections and ear and sinus infections.
RESISTANCE OF CONCERN
S. pneumoniae has developed resistance to drugs in the
penicillin and erythromycin groups. Examples of these drugs include
amoxicillin and azithromycin (Zithromax,
Z-Pak). S. pneumoniae has also developed resistance
to less commonly used drugs.
PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
Pneumococcal disease, whether or not resistant to
antibiotics, is a major public health problem. Pneumococcal disease causes 4
million disease episodes and 22,000 deaths annually. Pneumococcal ear
infections (otitis media) are the most common type of pneumococcal disease
among children, causing 1.5 million infections that often result in
antibiotic use. Pneumococcal pneumonia is another important form of
pneumococcal disease. Each year, nearly 160,000 children younger than 5
years old see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital with pneumococcal
pneumonia. Among adults, over 600,000 seek care for or are hospitalized with
pneumococcal pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia accounts for 72% of all
direct medical costs for treatment of pneumococcal disease.
In 30% of severe S. pneumoniae cases, the bacteria are
fully resistant to one or more clinically relevant antibiotics. Resistant
infections complicate treatment and can result in almost 1,200,000 illnesses
and 7,000 deaths per year. Cases of resistant pneumococcal pneumonia result
in about 32,000 additional doctor visits and about 19,000 additional
hospitalizations each year. The excess costs associated with these cases are
approximately $96 million.
Invasive pneumococcal disease means that bacteria
invade parts of the body that are normally sterile, and when this happens,
disease is usually severe, causing hospitalization or even death. The
majority of cases and deaths occur among adults 50 years or older, with the
highest rates among those 65 years or older. Almost everyone who gets
invasive pneumococcal disease needs treatment in the hospital.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
Tell your doctor if you have been hospitalized in another facility or
Take antibiotics exactly as the doctor prescribes. Do not skip doses,
and complete the entire prescription, even if you start feeling better.
Only take antibiotics prescribed for you; do not share or use leftover
Do not save antibiotics for the next illness. Discard any leftover
medication once the prescribed course of treatment is completed.
Prevent infections by covering your cough, getting recommended
vaccinations, and regularly washing your hands! Clean your own hands
Do not ask your doctor for antibiotics if your doctor feels you don't
Ask questions. Understand what is being done to you, the risks and
When you are in a healthcare facility, insist that everyone who
takes care of you clean their hands with soap and water or an
alcohol-based hand rub before touching you! And remind them to wash
their hands again as they leave your room!
Prevent infections by getting recommended vaccines
and practicing good hand hygiene.
tuberculosis (TB) is among the most common infectious diseases and a
frequent cause of death worldwide. TB is caused by the bacteria
(M. tuberculosis) and is spread most commonly through
the air. M. tuberculosis can affect any part of the body, but disease is
found most often in the lungs. In most cases, TB is treatable and curable
with the available first-line TB drugs; however, in some cases, M.
tuberculosis can be resistant to one or more of the drugs used to treat it.
Drug-resistant TB is more challenging to treat — it can
be complex and requires more time and more expensive drugs that often have
more side effects. Extensively Drug-Resistant TB (XDR TB) is resistant to
most TB drugs; therefore, patients are left with treatment options that are
much less effective. The major factors driving TB drug resistance are
incomplete or wrong treatment, short drug supply, and lack of new drugs. In
the United States most drug-resistant TB is found among persons born outside
of the country.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
causes a range of
illnesses, from skin and wound infections to pneumonia and bloodstream
infections that can cause sepsis and death. Staph bacteria, including MRSA,
are one of the most common causes of healthcare-associated infections.
RESISTANCE OF CONCERN
Resistance to methicillin and related antibiotics
(e.g., nafcillin, oxacillin) and resistance to cephalosporins are of
PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT
CDC estimates 80,461 invasive MRSA infections and
11,285 related deaths occurred in 2011. An unknown but much higher number of
less severe infections occurred in both the community and in healthcare
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
infections (HAIs) are infections that patients get while receiving treatment
for another condition in some type of health care facility. A study of
patients in 2002 estimated that HAIs account for an estimated 1.7 million
infections and 99,000 associated deaths annually, making them the most
common complication of hospital care. The added financial burden
attributable to HAIs is estimated to be between $28 billion to $33 billion
Many bacterial agents are responsible for HAIs,
the most common of which is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (MRSA). The number of
MRSA-associated hospital stays more than tripled after 2000, reaching
368,600 in 2005, according to the AHRQ-sponsored Healthcare Cost and
Utilization Project (HCUP) database (www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov).
Patients hospitalized for MRSA have longer hospital stays and are more
likely to die than patients who do not have MRSA. These infections are
especially common in hospital intensive care units (ICUs).
www.apic.org - pdf
- Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
June 3, 2013 - Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
Aureus (MRSA) is an important cause of illness and sometimes death,
especially among patients who have had medical care. Three-fourths of
Staphylococcus aureus infections in hospital ICUs are considered
A new study has been published showing that
using germ-killing soap and ointment on all
intensive-care unit (ICU) patients can reduce bloodstream 2 infections
by up to 44 percent and significantly reduce the presence of MRSA in ICUs.
Routine care (Group I) did not significantly reduce MRSA or bloodstream
Providing germ-killing soap and ointment only to patients with MRSA
(Group II) reduced bloodstream infections by any germ by 23 percent.
Providing germ-killing soap and ointment to all ICU patients (Group III)
reduced MRSA by 37 percent and bloodstream infections by any germ by 44
The essential elements of an
infection prevention and control program to prevent healthcare-associated
Rigorous hand hygiene practices that ensure
healthcare providers clean their hands before and after providing
patient care and after having contact with the patient’s environment
Patients as well as visitors need to practice good
hand hygiene. We encourage our patients to be partners in their care and
talk with their healthcare providers about wearing gloves and washing
hands before and after delivering care
Use of barrier precautions, such as gloves, gowns,
masks, caps, etc., by healthcare workers and visitors
Separating patients with serious infections from
other patients to prevent the transmission of infection
Proper disinfection of the patient’s skin prior to
medical and surgical procedures
Environmental cleaning and decontamination of
equipment, especially items that are frequently touched or are close to
patients, such as bedrails and bedside equipment
Monitoring the cleaning, disinfection and
sterilization of instruments and equipment used for patient care
Removing IV and urinary catheters promptly
When possible, avoiding veins in the groin for IV
Assure that antibiotics are used carefully
Staff education on best practices to prevent
infections including central-line bloodstream infections and spread of
resistant organisms such as CRE, MRSA, and C. difficile
Sharing information with patients and families so
they understand the importance of infection prevention practices in all
healthcare settings and at home
Additionally, in order to ensure patient safety,
our staff is trained to identify any breaks in infection prevention and
control practices and to intervene if such breaks are identified.
Reference Source -
There are two known types of MRSA. MRSA, a type of
Staph bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics, used to be most commonly
found in hospitals and nursing homes,
Healthcare-Associated (HA-MRSA). Recently,
Community-Associated MRSA, a newer type of MRSA has been identified and is spreading more
commonly in the community - among healthy people,
in public settings like gyms, locker rooms, households and schools.
In fact, almost 90 percent of physicians confirm that the prevalence of
Community-Associated MRSA infections is increasing.
Since MRSA infections can be serious, and the bacteria can be
easily passed along through contact, it is crucial to take steps to prevent
the spread of infection in all places in the community where people gather.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a
type of Staph bacteria found on the skin and in the nose that is resistant
to antibiotics. More than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly MRSA
infections every year and in 2005, nearly 19,000 Americans died from MRSA
infections. More deaths are linked to MRSA infections than AIDS.
MRSA is spread by skin-to-skin contact, or through personal items
that have been contaminated with the bacteria such as towels or athletic
equipment. MRSA is spread more easily in close quarters, like gyms and
locker rooms. It is not uncommon for MRSA infections to spread among
athletic team members or people who regularly visit the gym.
Athletes who play close-contact sports, such as wrestling and
football, are also at an increased risk of contracting and spreading MRSA.
In fact, MRSA infection rates are higher among football players than among
other athletes. A total of 517 out of every 100,000 football players
contracted MRSA from 2003 to 2005 as opposed to the overall national rate of
32 per 100,000 people.
MRSA, like other staph bacteria, can cause a skin infection such as
pimples, rashes, abscesses, boils or what can look like a spider bite. These
infections are usually warm, painful, red or swollen. If you think that you
or anyone in your family may have a MRSA infection, contact a licensed
health care professional, especially if the infection is large, painful,
warm to the touch, or does not heal by itself.
People can carry MRSA and not have any symptoms. These "carriers"
can also transmit the bacteria to other people. MRSA can be easily spread
through skin-to-skin contact and by touching contaminated items.
This is why it is crucial to take
measures to help
reduce the spread of
MRSA using these practical steps.
Scrub up -
Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15
seconds - the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice - or use an
alcohol-based hand rub sanitizer.
Wipe it down -
Use a disinfecting bleach solution to wipe down and disinfect hard
surfaces. Make sure to use clean cloths to avoid spreading MRSA from one
surface to another. (3/4 cup of disinfecting bleach diluted in 1 gallon
Cover your cuts -
Keep any nicks or wounds covered with a clean, dry bandage until healed.
Keep to yourself -
Do not share personal items, like towels or razors, that come into
contact with bare skin.
Use a barrier - Keep a towel or clothing between
skin and shared equipment.
more information on MRSA and steps you can take to help reduce the spread of
the bacteria, download our STOP
University of Chicago MRSA Research Center Web site for additional
How Do You
Reference Source -
- Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics
A new class of
antibiotic drugs is not expected to appear in the immediate future. If
bacteria become resistant to all our current antibiotics, we won't have any
other alternatives. Using antibiotics wisely will help preserve their
effectiveness in the years ahead.
Here are some actions you can take to
limit the development of antibiotic resistance—
Do not demand antibiotics
from your physician. When given antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed
and complete the full course of treatment; do not hoard pills for later use
or share leftover antibiotics, as decreased quality may compromise
your hands properly to reduce the chance of getting sick and spreading
Wash fruits and vegetables
Avoid raw eggs and undercooked meat, especially in
ground form. (The majority of food items which cause diseases are raw or
undercooked foods of animal origin such as meat, milk, eggs, cheese, fish or
When protecting a sick person whose defenses are
weakened, soaps and other products with antibacterial chemicals are helpful,
but should be used according to established procedures and guidelines.
Read more: Unnecessary
Deaths: The Human and Financial Costs of Hospital Infections by the
Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths (RID) See Center
for Global Development Report
Patients should take antibiotics
exactly as directed by their health care professional. They should not
demand antibiotics to treat viral infections, such as coughs, colds and the
flu. Taking an antibiotic drug when it won't treat your illness is still
associated with the risk of side effects from that drug, and can contribute
to the development of antibiotic resistance.
We can all play an important role—patients, healthcare providers,
and health care institutions—in using antibiotics appropriately so that we
have effective antibiotics when we need them to treat patients with a
Thorough cooking will eliminate most bacteria—even resistant bacteria—from
meat and poultry but there is always the danger of cross contamination.
Consumers must carefully clean any kitchen surfaces used to prepare or store
meat or poultry before using them to prepare raw ingredients that will not
Eat without Antibiotics. Next
time you buy meat or poultry, choose products raised without the routine use
of antibiotics, using the Eat
Well Consumer Guide. Use it to find retail outlets, restaurants, and
producers nationwide that sell meat and poultry raised without the routine
use of antibiotics. Or, find them yourself by searching out meat products
with labels that say "certified organic," "raised without antibiotics," and
"no antibiotics administered."
Check out Label
Facts, to find a listing of other terms used to label meats and what
they mean. Your choices as a consumer will bolster efforts to change public
policies that currently allow routine use of antibiotics in animals that
Spread the Word. Tell
friends and family what you have learned about how the overuse of
antibiotics in animal agriculture impacts human health. Urge them to visit
our website and to Take
Action on this important issue.
Retrieved from -
If you've decided to go
ahead and take an antibiotic:
Get the facts. Ask your doctor how
many days you must take the antibiotic and if you, in fact, do you need
the latest, most powerful one on the market. Simple urinary tract
infections are now treated with only three days of antibiotics. Sinus
infections, bronchitis, and ear infections in children over two years of
age can be treated with as few as five days of antibiotics, new or old,
generic or name brand. This may not be possible, however, if you have
other medical conditions or if you smoke.
Commit to the full course of the antibiotic unless you experience
significant side effects or an allergic reaction. You sought medical
advice and agreed to the prescription. You will build trust with your
doctor if you work as a team. This trust will be very important once you
see number 3 below.
Take an antifungal
with the antibiotic. For example, you could ask your doctor for a
prescription of nystatin to take during the course of your antibiotic.
Many dermatologists do this when prescribing long-term antibiotic
courses for acne. I suggest adults take two tablets twice a day -- 1 cc
of suspension twice a day for children -- to prevent yeast overgrowth in
your intestines. Most cases of upset stomach or diarrhea that kick in a
few days of beginning a round of antibiotics can be cured with a single
dose of the drug. Diarrhea after a two-week round of antibiotics is
likely caused by a different bug altogether -- be sure to bring that to
your doctor's attention. I should tell you that, in my clinical practice
years, many of my patients made great strides against acne through
taking nystatin and a change in diet alone, without the antibiotics.
intake. Take an antioxidant supplement, one that includes vitamin
E, zinc, selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin A, among others. According to
A.V. Costantini, all antioxidants are antifungal. (Costantini. 1998.)
Keep your bowels
moving. If antibiotics kill off your friendly, intestinal
bacteria, once you cease taking antibiotics you'll run a higher risk of
infection by other, more hostile bacteria. These bacteria will be quick
to find and exploit pockets of debris that could be collecting and
putrefying in your intestines if you happen to become constipated. So,
be sure to keep your digestive tract as clear as possible until you can
repopulate it with friendly bacteria. Psyllium hulls fiber from your
local health food store is the best, bulk fiber to use, as long as you
don't have a history of intestinal obstruction. Psyllium not only
relieves constipation. It also slows diarrhea by absorbing excess water.
Look back at why you became ill to begin
with. ...diet plays at least as
much a role as actual exposure to germs as to whether we get sick --
when we are healthy and eating correctly, our bodies are amazingly
resistant to infection.
good bacteria in your intestines. Supplement with an acidophilus
supplement for a few weeks following any course of antibiotics. Do not
take these simultaneously with your antibiotic or you will simply end up
with a lot of very dead, albeit still friendly bacteria in your
intestines. At the very most, take acidophilus supplements either in
between antibiotic doses or after you have completely finished your
Also Link to
Patient Safety Resources
Treatment of Antibiotic Resistance
Copyright © Demand Media, Inc.
antibiotics can also kill bacteria that are part of the normal host flora in
your body, resulting
in an imbalance that allows the overgrowth of certain species that can
result in another infection.
The most noticeable effect
of antibiotics on host bacteria typically occurs in the digestive tract. The
intestines contain bacteria that are part of the normal gut flora that help
to digest and process consumed food. These bacteria may also produce
vitamins for the body such as vitamin K.
In addition to the digestive
system, bacteria that are part of the normal vaginal flora in women can also
be affected by the use of antibiotics.
Most digestive bacteria reside in the intestines since they cannot survive
in the acidic environment within the stomach. However, H. pylori can reside
in the stomach, but is not considered a good bacteria since it is
responsible for gastric ulcers.
Effects on Normal Flora: The
use of antibiotics can cause an imbalance of the normal flora within the
Certain types of bacteria may take advantage of this opportunity to prosper
and cause an infection. Clostridium difficile is a common intestinal
infection that can occur following the use of certain antibiotics. Symptoms
of a gut infection include abdominal cramps, bloating, bloody stools, fever,
and excessive diarrhea. In women, antibiotics can kill normal vaginal flora,
leaving the individual more susceptible to yeast infections.
In order to maintain a normal
balance in the gut, probiotics medications can be used for patients who are
Probiotics are live cultures of bacteria that are normally found within the
digestive system. In addition to probiotic medications, live cultures may
also be available in certain food products such as yogurt. Patients should
speak with a physician with concerns about the use of antibiotics and
Copyright © Demand Media, Inc.
are a type of good bacteria similar to the ones normally found in your gut.
Many people take them every day for their supposed health benefits, many of
which are not scientifically proven. However,
they have been shown to not only
reduce the duration of the digestive symptoms associated with antibiotic
use, but may even prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Probiotics can be taken as a supplement, but you can also get them in your
diet. Many fermented foods such as yogurt and miso contain probiotics, and
they may also be added to some milk or juice products.
Probiotic and Prebiotic Intake:
After you take your
antibiotic, wait several hours before eating something rich in probiotics.
You can either take a probiotic supplement, or try eating a snack of yogurt
that contains either acidophilus or bifidum.
After your course of
complete, the authors of "Prebiotics and Antibiotics: A Brief Overview,"
published in "The Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness" in February
doubling or tripling your probiotic intake.
Because this may involve supplements in addition to foods rich in
probiotics, it is best to talk to your doctor for more specific
recommendations. Prebiotics, which are not wiped out over the course of
antibiotic use, can be eaten any time. Katherine Zeratsky, a dietician for
MayoClinic.com, reports that
the average recommended
dose of prebiotic supplements is between three and eight grams.
Should Women Know Before Taking Antibiotics?
Reference Source -
Antibiotics often lead to a
vaginal yeast infection. Because antibiotics kill the normal bacteria
in the vagina, yeast no longer have competition for foodand grow rapidly.
Yeast cells begin attacking tissues in the vagina, usually causing one or
all of the following symptoms: itching, burning, pain during sex and vaginal
discharge. If you think you have a yeast infection, consult a physician.
Antibiotics may reduce the
efficacy of birth control pills. As with other medications, some
antibiotics may be transmitted to a fetus, and some may cause harm.
Therefore, you should never take antibiotics without your doctor's knowledge
if you are pregnant or nursing.
What Should Be Done?
www.keepantibioticsworking.com - pdf
A recent study from Denmark, where the use of
antibiotics in healthy farm animals was banned, demonstrates that ending
this practice dramatically reduces the levels of resistant bacteria present
in those animals.16 To keep antibiotics working for people who need them, we
must stop the overuse of antibiotics in healthy pigs, poultry, and cattle,
especially antibiotics that are also used in human medicine. Four steps must
Congress or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) should phase out the use of medically important antibiotics in
healthy livestock and poultry.
Companies involved in the production and marketing
of meat and poultry (meat producers, supermarkets, restaurants, factory
farms, etc.) should voluntarily agree to stop buying or selling meat
produced with antibiotics for purposes other than treating sick animals.
(A 1999 National Academy of Sciences report estimated that the
elimination of all such uses of antibiotics in poultry, cattle, and
swine production would cost consumers only $5 to $10 per person
Congress or FDA should require the collection of
accurate data on the production and use of antibiotics in both human
medicine and animal agriculture, and make that information available to
Talk with your doctor to make sure that
antibiotics, which work against bacterial infections, are not prescribed
for viral infections such as the cold or flu. Also, take the full course
of any antibiotic, as prescribed.
..."For decades, the Food & Drug Administration has failed to regulate this
industry’s use of antibiotics. That’s why Congress must
now pass legislation (the
Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act in the House and the
Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance Act in the Senate) that would stop the
abuse of medically important antibiotics on factory farms."
What is Being Done?
At FDA, the work to identify and contain antimicrobial
resistance includes two parallel tracks:
efforts to reduce drug-resistant bacteria in foods
and in animals that enter the food supply, and
facilitating the development of new antibiotics to
treat patients while preserving the effectiveness of existing
Holistic Treatments for
Essential Oils Proven Effective Against MRSA:
Patchouli, tea tree, geranium, lavender essential oils and Citricidal
(grapefruit seed extract) were used singly and in combination to assess their
anti-bacterial activity against three strains of Staphylococcus aureus: Oxford
S. aureus NCTC 6571 (Oxford strain), Epidemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus (EMRSA
15) and MRSA (untypable). A
combination of Citricidal and geranium oil showed the greatest-anti-bacterial
effects against MRSA, whilst a combination of geranium and tea tree oil
was most active against the methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (Oxford strain)….
This study demonstrates the potential of
essential oils and essential oil vapours as antibacterial agents and for use in
the treatment of MRSA infection. To read in its
Effect of Essential Oils on MRSA
The antimicrobial activity of 4 samples of
B. citriodora oil, leaf paste, commercial tea (0.2 and 0.02 g/mL), and hydrosol
(aqueous distillate) were tested against 13 bacteria and 8 fungi… The 4
essential oils were found to be effective antibacterial and antifungal agents;
however, variation was apparent between oils that did not correlate with citral
The essential oil of Dracocephalum foetidum,
a popular essential oil used in Mongolian traditional medicine, was examined for
its antimicrobial activity. Eight human pathogenic microorganisms
including B. subtilis, S. aureus, M. lutens, E. hirae, S. mutans, E. coli, C.
albicans, and S. cerevisiae were examined. The essential oil of Dracocephalum
foetidum exhibited strong antimicrobial activity against most of the pathogenic
bacteria and yeast strains that were tested…
The essential oil of Oliveria decumbens was
investigated for its components and antimicrobial activity against six bacteria
and two fungal strains. The oil exhibited high antimicrobial activity against
all tested Gram+ and Gram- bacteria and fungal strains.
In the present study, the antimicrobial
activity of the essential oils from clove (Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr.
et Perry) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) was tested alone and
in combination. Both essential oils possessed significant antimicrobial
effects against all microorganisms tested…The antimicrobial activity of
combinations of the two essential oils indicated their additive, synergistic or
antagonistic effects against individual microorganism tests. The time-kill
curves of clove and rosemary essential oils towards three strains showed
clearly bactericidal and fungicidal processes of…
This finding suggests that
oregano essential oil exerted a significant antioxidant effect. Dietary
supplementation of oregano essential oil at the level of 200 mg/kg was more
effective in delaying lipid oxidation compared with the level of 100 mg/kg, but
inferior to dietary supplementation of 200 mg alpha-tocopheryl acetate per kg.
This study indirectly provides evidence
that antioxidant compounds occurring in oregano essential oil were absorbed by
the rabbit and increased the antioxidative capacity of tissues.
Link to Essential
Oils for in-depth information...
Retrieved from -
…monolaurin, a nontoxic, antiviral supplement made from
lauric acid (a fatty acid found in breast milk) and glycerin. It is used to
treat infections with all strains of the herpes
virus along with other viral infections including measles,
the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS.
Monolaurin is believed to have the potential to
permanently inactivate the fat coated viruses that cause these diseases by
fluidizing the lipids (fats) and phospholipids in their envelopes, leading
to the disintegration of viral particles.
Monolaurin, sold under the brand name Lauricidin®,
comes in the form of mini pellets. Dosage should be individualized, and Dr.
Jon J. Kabara, the physician/researcher who developed monolaurin, says that
the usual recommended initial dose is 1.5 grams once or twice a day for one
or two weeks. The dose can be increased to 3.0 grams once or twice daily
thereafter. A maintenance dose can be 3.0 grams two or three times a day.
The idea is to start with a low dose and then increase it gradually until
you notice a positive response. Take monolaurin only under the supervision
of your physician, who can prescribe it, determine your best dosage and
monitor your progress. Dr. Kabara has, however, generously offered to
respond to individual questions about dosage submitted with orders via his
Web site, www.lauricidin.com.
Monolaurin is a nontraditional antimicrobial agent that possesses better
antimicrobial activities but causes no health problems to consumers, but the
use of monolaurin in the food industry as a preservative is still limited.
www.thenews.com.pk - Reports,
Honey-helps-fight-antibiotic-resistance - ISLAMABAD: The unique property of honey lies in its
ability to fight infection on multiple levels making it more difficult for
bacteria to develop resistance.
According to researcher honey uses a combination of
weapons including hydrogen peroxide acidity osmotic effect high sugar
concentration and polyphenols all of which actively kill bacterial cells,
Health news reported. For instance, the osmotic effect which is the result
of the high sugar concentration in honey draws water from the bacterial
cells dehydrating and killing them.
Honey inhibits the formation of biofilms or disease
causing bacteria researcher added.
According to researcher, honey may also disrupt quorum
sensing which weakens bacterial virulence rendering the bacteria more
susceptible to conventional antibiotics.
Quorum sensing is the way bacteria communicate with one
another and may be involved in the formation of biofilms. Honey is effective
because it is filled with healthful polyphenols or antioxidants, the study
said. These include the phenolic acids caffeic acid p coumaric acid and
ellagic acid as well as many flavonoids.
Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between
the non peroxide antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of honey and the
presence of honey phenolics the researcher added. (APP)
cid.oxfordjournals.org - Reports,
Medical-Grade Honey Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
In Vitro and Eradicates Skin Colonization
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose a very serious
threat to public health [1,2].
For all kinds of antibiotics, including the major last-resort drugs, the
frequencies of bacterial resistance are increasing worldwide [1, 2].
Even more alarming, very few new antibiotics are being developed, because
many large pharmaceutical companies have abandoned the field of antibiotic
drug discovery .
Therefore, alternative antimicrobial strategies are urgently needed.
Since ancient times, honey has been known to possess
antimicrobial properties, as well as wound-healing activity [4–6].
Microbial resistance to honey has never been reported, which makes it a very
promising topical antimicrobial agent. Indeed, the in vitro activity of
honey against antibiotic-resistant bacteria [7–9]
and the reported successful application of honey in the treatment of chronic
wound infections that were not responding to antibiotic therapy 
have attracted considerable attention [10–12].
… Revamil medical-grade
honey (B factory) is produced by bees in closed greenhouses.
… medical-grade honey has the potential to be a topical
antibacterial prophylaxis or to be a treatment for topical infections caused
by antibiotic-resistant bacteria… In summary, we showed that Revamil
medical-grade honey has batch-to-batch reproducible and broad-spectrum
bactericidal activity and is a good disinfectant for human skin. Thus, this
honey has excellent potential as an anti-infective agent for topical
prophylaxis or for topical treatment of skin infections caused by
antibiotic-susceptible or -resistant bacteria.
Retrieved from -
Manuka honey: The
sweetness of Manuka honey is already being used in hospitals in protocols
for wound care. You can place the honey directly on gauze and cover the
wound. Typically, the bandage is replaced three times a day. Although
studies show most honey has antibacterial activity, manuka honey seems to be
especially potent due to a compound called methylglyoxal. In fact, studies
have confirmed its activity against a wide range of medically important
bacteria, including MRSA.
Hailing from the northwest United States, goldenseal is a potent antibiotic,
well known to help treat sore throats as well as digestive infections which
can cause diarrhea. The Native Americans taught us that goldenseal has the
ability to soothe the linings of the mucous membranes of the respiratory,
digestive and genitourinary tracts while effectively clearing bacterial
invasion. A few drops locally can stop a sore throat in its tracks.
Oregon Grape (Berberis
aquifolium): Also from the Northwest, Oregon grape contains a
substance known as berberine, which can stop bacteria from adhering to the
walls of the intestine and urinary tract. When used as a tea, it is a
wonderful way to wash away urinary tract infections; it can be used in dried
capsules or liquid tincture to treat digestive tract conditions like
This Asian herb with thousands of years of traditional use is now being
proven through modern research as being able to disrupt the quorum-sensing
system of bacteria. This system helps bacteria attach to each other and
thrive as a community. Andrographis basically helps break up the bacterial
“party.” As a result, it is beneficial to treat symptoms of upper
respiratory tract infections and sinus problems. Numerous studies report its
ability to reduce upper respiratory infection symptoms, such as fatigue,
sore throat, cough and headache.