Danger In The Discovery Void
Global action is needed to fill a drug “discovery void” said Sallie Davies, chief medical officer for the United Kingdom, in a March 10 statement.
Infectious bacteria are evolving to resist antibiotic medications, and new medications aren’t being developed fast enough to keep up.
“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat,” Davies told Reuters. “If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics.”
Rising Concerns About CRE, E. Coli
Davies’ announcement comes as a new University of Minnesota study has revealed a dramatic increase in the number of infections caused by E. Coli strain ST131 — a strain immune to most antibiotics.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control has released a report this month indicating that American hospitals are experiencing a rise in carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections, which are resistant to even the strongest antibiotics.
“CRE are nightmare bacteria. Our strongest antibiotics don’t work and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a recent statement.
The CDC has also issued another report detailing the emergence of completely drug-resistant tuberculosis in South Africa.