Antimicrobial resistance making infections more lethal: Australian study

(Xinhua) 14:35, April 05, 2022

CANBERRA, April 5 (Xinhua) -- The spread of drug-resistant bacteria is increasing the risk of death from common infections, Australian researchers have found.

In a study published on Tuesday, a team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) analyzed data of 21,268 patients who were hospitalized in the state of Queensland with community-acquired urinary tract infections (UTIs).

They found patients were almost two and a half times more likely to die from community acquired drug-resistant UTIs caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and more than three times more likely to die from community acquired drug-resistant blood stream infections caused by Enterobacteriaceae than those with drug-sensitive infections.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microbes become resistant to the drugs designed to kill them due to overuse.

It has been identified as one of the biggest threats to global public health.

Teresa Wozniak, a CSIRO research scientist, said that UTIs were a major contributor to antibiotic use in Australia.

"Our study found patients who contracted drug-resistant UTIs in the community were more than twice as likely to die from the infection in hospital than those without resistant bacteria," Wozniak said in a media release.

"Tracking the burden of drug-resistant infections in the community is critical to understanding how far antimicrobial resistance is spreading and how best to mitigate it."

One in two women and one in 20 men in Australia will contract a UTI infection in their lifetime.

David Hansen, chief executive of the CSIRO's Australian e-Health Research Centre, said the extent of AMR needed to be understood to mitigate its threat.

"Tracking community resistance is difficult because it involves not just one pathogen or disease but multiple strains of bacteria," he said. 

(Web editor: Meng Bin, Bianji)


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