California monitors antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Scientists from the CDC examine a specific carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) called Klebsiella Pneumoniae. The CRE shows resistance to 26 different antibiotics after being found in a 70-year-old Nevada woman who died in September 2016.

Jeffrey Miller, Staff Writer

Senator Jerry Hill of District of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties passed a bill that made California the first in America to monitor and track antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths.

Senate Bill 43 will give California’s Department of Public Health access to more information on the critical problems regarding antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This bill establishes legislation to set up a superbug-tracking, first-in-the-nation system to discover more about the bacteria for future antidotes and treatment.

According to Occupational Health and Safety, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate antibiotic resistance kills 23,000 Americans each year and sickens some 2 million people, and in California, health authorities estimate superbugs are to blame for 3,000 deaths and 260,000 illnesses annually.”

“Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health. The antibiotics used to treat infections like pneumonia are becoming decreasingly effective as the bacteria continues adapts to new medicines,” said Leticia Linn, a communications officer for the World Health Organization (WHO).

Subsequently, infections such as gonorrhea, blood poisoning, and tuberculosis are starting to become almost impossible to treat. In response, WHO established a “global action plan on antimicrobial resistance” to find more information on how to prevent and treat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

According to WHO, the “global action plan” improves awareness of AMR, strengthens surveillance, reduces incidents of infection, optimizes the use of medicines, and ensures sustainable investment in countering AMR. Since the plan was established, research has continued to take place but, at the same time, bacteria learned how to fight antibiotics faster.

Bill 43 requires hospitals and clinical labs to submit annual data to the department of public health. In effect, the new information about AMR bacteria will cause new antibiotics, medicines, and other treatments to be made faster and more efficient so developing AMR diseases can be defeated in the future.

“The bill passed legislation on Dec. 5, 2016, and recent superbug reports will allow the CDC to analyze the growing list of antibiotic-resistant infections,” said Leslie Guevarra, who is a staff writer for Senate District 13.

Antibiotic resistance is a serious threat because antibiotics have created something truly dangerous.

By Stat News

Over time, the misuse of antimicrobials within livestock and humans will speed up the development of superbugs. This increases the difficulty and cost of treating an infection, leaving more patients at risk.

One company working on the research and tracking of AMR is Merck. For years they have developed drugs and antibiotics to attack AMR bacteria. They were the first to create penicillin in mass production and saved millions of lives.

Recently, they have been working on Isentress, an antiviral medication that when used with other drugs, prevents the progression of HIV into AIDS.

AMR must be prevented in all areas of the world in order to save lives. Senator Hill’s Bill 43 is going to ensure research and tracking are being done in all labs and hospitals for data. Thus, production of more antibiotics, treatments, and medications much like Merk’s antiviral HIV medication will take place in upcoming years.

“What if we can’t find a solution to antimicrobial-resistant infections? Research states that if we don’t combat the issue in the near future, approximately 10 million people will die of antimicrobial-resistant infections by 2050. Worse yet, any one of those infections has the potential to cause a global outbreak, thereby potentially killing hundreds if not billions of the human population,” said Serlina Santa-Iglesia, a Regulatory Affairs Scientist at Merck.

By Jim O’Neill Chairman of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance