‘Nightmare’ Bacteria Found in 27 States That Is Antibiotic-Resistant
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 200 rare antibiotic-resistant genes found in 2017, labeled “nightmare” bacteria. Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC said “I was surprised by the numbers we found.”
Every state has a variety of resistant germs, and this report focused on the highly resistant germs that have not yet spread. “Two million American get infections from antibiotic resistance, and 23,000 die from those infections each year,” added Schuchat.
Many of these tests were done on antibiotic-resistant germs from hospitals and nursing homes, and of the 5,774 isolates, the CDC found that about one in four had a gene that helped spread its resistance. The report also listed 221 germs that contained an “especially rare resistance gene.”
A follow up screening showed that nearly one in every ten contacts tested positive, “meaning the unusual resistance had spread to other patients and could have continued spreading if left undetected,” stated Schuchat. Experts are still not certain how frequently “asymptomatic carriers” spread disease to uninfected people.
The 221 rare genes were found in isolates that were studied from infection samples in 27 different states, including pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and bloodstream infections. The CDC does not yet have trend data because this was the first year of testing for rare genes, and Schuchat hopes it won’t be the “beginning of an inevitable march upwards.”