What’s going on during World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017

It probably won’t have escaped your attention that it’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week (#WAAW). Here’s a quick summary of what’s going on this week that may be of interest. Please feel free to add to this shared resource in the comments section.

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No more antibiotics for animals

That’s what the WHO stated this week, and it was based on a study, in Lancet Planetary Health. In most news items that I saw animal antibiotic use was directly linked to human infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria. A journalist even asked if eating meat was safe. Although most of us (including me) support reduction of unnecessary antibiotic use, it’s worth reading this excellent meta-analysis, initiated by WHO. Did this study answer the burning research question “to what extent does animal antibiotic use influence infections in humans?“ Continue reading

Making MRSA carriage a crime?

A new chapter has been added to our successful MRSA Search and Destroy policy. Yesterday, a healthcare professional, providing homecare to elderly, testified on Dutch television (item starts @ 12.30 minutes) how unnoticed MRSA carriage had influenced her and her family’s life. It is very laudable that she was willing to share her experience, but it was kind of spooky that she felt that she could only do this if unrecognizable, as if the underworld was still after her and her family. Apparently, MRSA carriage has become a criminal or shameful thing. Continue reading

ESPAUR Report 2017: two steps forward, one step back

The next iteration of the annual ESPAUR report has been published. It’s a comprehensive, epic tome (almost 200 pages, plus an online appendix if that’s not enough for you!) so, I’ve summarised a few key points here – but the whole report is well worth a read. The number of Gram-negative BSIs is increasing (and we don’t know why); overall antibiotic prescribing is down driven by GP reductions; there’s a small increase in antibiotic prescribing in hospitals overall but early success in reducing broad spectrum agents (pip/tazo and carbapenems); and the results of the national PPS are out!

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The antibiotic resistance crisis resolved by bacteriophages (part 2)

Earlier this week I blogged on the potential (yet poorly proven) effects of bacteriophages as salvage therapy for infections caused by AMR, and stated: “Phages and their active enzymes are proteins that evoke an immunological host response when injected, and up till now all attempts to circumvene those unwanted effects have failed.” Two recent case reports challenge part of that statement. Continue reading

The antibiotic resistance crisis resolved by bacteriophages

I am regularly asked why we don’t treat infections caused by multidrug resistant bacteria with bacteriophages. Last Friday, the same question made it to the best viewed talkshow on Dutch television (The World Turns On), and in about 10 minutes the global threat of antibiotic resistance was resolved. Here is how….  Continue reading