While antibiotics have saved millions of lives worldwide, the continued emergence of resistant organisms worldwide has led to decreased effectiveness of these compounds.
Indeed, a recent report from the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance predicted that infections with antibiotic-resistant organisms will claim more lives annually than cancer by the year 2050. According to this important scientific journal, deaths caused by drug resistance will rise from 700,000 in 2015 to an estimated 10 million per year in 2050.
As such, in the post-antibiotic era, new trends for selecting appropriate antimicrobial therapies will be required.
Data Regarding Antibiotic Resistance
- Is recognized as one of the biggest challenges facing human health
- Antibiotic resistant organisms are emerging at a faster rate than that at which ate of novel antibiotics are being developed
- Greater than 2 million patients in the US develop hospital-acquired infections annually, the vast majority of which are due to antibacterial-resistant species
- Greater than 700,000 deaths are caused by drug resistant microorganisms in the US each year
We at the Human Microbiology Institute feel that there are several significant drawbacks to the methods currently used for prescribing antibiotics, which are based on evaluation of antibiotic sensitivity, including a lack of information regarding unculturable bacteria that may contribute to an illness, and the imperfections and limitations associated with current methods for determining the genetic nature of a pathogen.
Notably, antibiotic therapies, even when prescribed within 24 hours of hospitalization, are frequently ineffective.
- Selection of appropriate antibiotics within the first 24 hours of hospitalization often determines the effectiveness of the treatment, the survival rate, the length of hospital stay, and the occurrence of complications, and prevents the spread of resistance.
- Selection of an inappropriate antibiotic within the first 24 hours of hospitalization results in an 11% and 48% increase in the risk of death, and a 44% and 28% increase in the number of complications in patients with pneumonia and sepsis, respectively.
- Antibiotics selected on the basis of generally accepted laboratory studies are ineffective in 6-15% of cases.
The HMI is at the forefront of research regarding currently unculturable bacteria. We have developed a unique, rapid method that enables the selection of an optimal antibiotic for treatment of bacteria infections, including infections by multidrug resistant strains, ones within 6–12 hours.
“HMI-diagnostics” which is under development by scientists at HMI, overcomes the disadvantages and shortcomings of existing methods and enables:
Selection of an optimal antibiotic within 6–12 hours
- Does not require isolation of a pure culture
- Enables the simultaneous analysis of the antibiotic sensitivity of all microorganisms of interest, including multidrug resistant strains.
- Enables the analysis of the effects of antibiotics on unculturable microorganisms
Our newly developed method is based on our deep knowledge of unculturable bacteria. Using this test, we can simultaneously evaluate the antibiotic sensitivity of all bacteria, including such unculturable strains, located at the site of infection, allowing for the selection of an optimal antibiotic(s) within 6–12 hours of sample collection. Notably, ” HMI-diagnostics ” system does not require any additional equipment (except the thermostat); the system is self-contained and disposable, and can therefore be provided individually to each patient.
Currently, the staff at Human Microbiology Institute develop a test ” HMI-diagnostics ” system for the selection antibiotics to treat infections associated with high levels of mortality and complications due to improper antibiotic therapy, i.e., respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and skin and soft tissue infections.