Bacteria are Adapting
Penicilin was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. With the introduction of antibiotics came a new era of combatting once-fatal illnesses. Unfortunately, in the battle against bacteria, the bacteria adapt. As a result, germs have found ways to resist and survive against these drugs, leading to a growing problem with antibiotic resistance. The overuse of antibiotics has only increased the speed with which bacteria are adapting.
A recent NY Times video highlights the growing problem.
Hospital Patients are at the Most Risk
Recent studies estimate that Hospital-Acquired Infections cause more than 162,000 deaths per year. According to a study by the Review on Anitmicrobial Resistance, by 2050, Antimicrobial resistance will be responsible for 10 million deaths globally per year.
The greatest risk from antibiotic-resistant infections is to patients in hospitals. Not only is the patient population the most vulnerable to infection, but the hospitals they visit are where antibiotic-resistant organisms are most prevalent. Many of these deaths could be prevented, however, if patients could get the right antibiotic at the first sign of infection.
“Comprehensive UTI ID/AST would improve patient outcomes and antimicrobial susceptibility by allowing clinicians to put the patient on the right targeted therapy faster”
Timing is Key
The key to saving lives while not causing the spread of resistance is to prescribe the right antibiotic at the earliest time – and to never to prescribe antibiotics when they are not needed. This requires tests that quickly identify the patients with bacterial infections and that rapidly determine the antibiotic susceptibility to effectively treat them. Today’s tests are much too slow to do this, culture tests can take 4 days to deliver results.
Get the Right Therapy Faster
First Light Diagnostics is dedicated to slowing the spread of antibiotic resistance. Our MulitPath technology can detect pathogens in patient samples in minutes and determine antibiotic susceptibility in hours. These more timely results will allow clinicians to make more informed decisions regarding the proper therapy for each individual.
We envision a world in which antibiotics are not overused so that they remain effective, where patients are rapidly cured by getting the right antibiotic at the outset, and where hospital infection deaths are a rarity.
Other Resources and News Articles
Burnham JP, et al. (2019). Re-estimating annual deaths due to multidrug-resistant organism infections. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology 2019, 40, 112–113. doi: 10.1017/ice.2018.304
O’Neill Jim, (2014), Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a crisis for health and wealth of nations. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance