According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “nightmare bacteria” that have the power to resist most or all antibiotics, are popping up across the U.S. However, new, aggressive policies, which have been shown to be effective, can help stop them from spreading.1 The CDC’s containment policy includes active surveillance with rapid detection tests to reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance.2
The CDC’s new program for testing suspect bacteria turned up unusual antibiotic-resistant genes 221 times in 2017, and 11% of people screened for these superbugs carried them even though they had no symptoms. The CDC tested for two of the best-known superbug germs: carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria.1
Antibiotic-resistant germs kill more than 23,000 Americans a year, and the World Health Organization has labeled antibiotic resistance a “fundamental threat” to humanity.3 Dr. Anne Schuchat, Acting Principal Deputy Director of CDC, reported that the CDC estimated that even if the containment policy were only 20% effective, it could reduce the number of nightmare bacteria cases by 76% over three years in one area.2 The policy requires a coordinated response among health care facilities, labs, and health departments.1
What the CDC is highlighting is the need, once you identify people carrying these bugs, to screen them and also their contacts to make sure they haven’t passed these bugs."
Director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University
2. Containment of Novel Multidrug-Resistant Organisms and Resistance Mechanisms — United States, 2006–2017. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6713e1.htm?s_cid=mm6713e1_e