A Growing Bacterial Resistance
As antibiotic resistance grows, the antibiotics used to treat infections do not work as well or at all. The loss of effective antibiotic treatments will not only cripple the ability to fight routine infectious diseases but will also undermine treatment of infectious complications in patients with other diseases. Many of the advances in medical treatment—joint replacements, organ transplants, cancer therapy, and treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis—are dependent on the ability to fight infections with antibiotics. If that ability is lost, the ability to safely offer people many life-saving and life-improving modern medical advantages will be lost with it.
The next 20 years will see a significant growth our world’s elderly population. This segment requires the greatest number of operations, typically lives in shared accommodation, have weaker immune systems and are generally more susceptible to hospital acquired infections (HAI’s).
Today, The Infectious Disease Society of America estimates that the annual cost to the U.S. healthcare system of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria is $21 billion to $34 billion, including 8 million additional hospital days. Seventy years after the beginning of the “antibiotic era,” there is an acute and growing public health need for new treatments to address infections caused by MDR bacteria.