Short of seeing a Category 5 pandemic, I can think of no health threat that has a greater potential to threaten the general public than does the global rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria.
As Maryn McKenna so eloquently explained in her book Superbug: The Fatal Menace Of MRSA, not only are many of our older antibiotics losing their effectiveness, the number of replacement antibiotics under development is distressingly limited.
While it may sound alarmist, there are many scientists who fear that one day we may find ourselves facing a post-antibiotic world, where many of the infections we can treat today will no longer respond to the antibiotics we have remaining.
In the absence of urgent corrective and protective actions, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, in which many common infections will no longer have a cure and, once again, kill unabated.
Since much of this resistance has come about from inappropriate use of antibiotics (in humans, and on the farm), the immediate focus is on ways to curb their improper use.
Today, a round up of some antibiotic resistance resources for you to explore.
First stop, a short video from the CDC on the appropriate use of antibiotics.
The CDC has also introduced a number of new fact sheets and other promotional material for 2011 on antibiotic resistance.
Fact Sheets New 2011
- Antibiotics: Will they work when you really need them? [412 KB, 2 ages]
- Delivering safe care for patients: all healthcare providers play a role [503 KB, 2 pages]
- Antibiotic stewardship – the ultimate return on investment [460 KB, 2 pages]
- Preserving antibiotics for the future [420 KB, 2 pages]
- Resistance anywhere is resistance everywhere [475 KB, 2 pages]
- Antibiotic use in long-term care facilities [600 KB, 2 pages]
You’ll find additional European initiatives and information on the European Antibiotics Awareness Day website.
In support of the CDC & ECDC awareness campaigns, Clinical Infectious Diseases and The Journal of Infectious Diseases have made a number of recent articles on antibiotic resistance freely available for the month of November.
Clinical Infectious Diseases articles:
The Journal of Infectious Diseases articles:
And for good measure, a sampling of some of my antibiotic resistance essays from the past year.