Rise of the Superbugs

Dramatic huh?  Found a fascinating article over at the New Yorker titled: Superbugs:  The new generation of resistant infections is almost impossible to treat.  And quite frankly it scared me, like all article about multi-drug resistant strains of bacteria do.  It’s a worrisome topic.

The article focuses in on gram-negative bacteria, most notably Klebsiella pneumoniae, but also touches on the other usual suspects, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, and Pseudomonas.  It goes into treatments, causes and what other countries are doing.  I found this particular quote really enlightening:

In Sweden, the government closely monitors all infections, and has the power to intervene as needed. “Our infection-control people have a lot of authority,” Giske said. “This is power from the legislation.” Once a resistant microbe is identified, stringent protocols are put in place, with dramatic results. Fewer than two per cent of the staphylococci in Sweden are MRSA, compared with sixty per cent in the United States. “Of course, it’s only around ten million people, so it’s possible to intervene because everything is smaller,” Giske said, adding, “Maybe Swedes are more used to this type of intervention and regulation.”

I think about how may folks we come into contact with that are infected with MRSA, and how we as health-care workers are more than likely at least colonized with it, and probably other nasties.  The funy thing ithough, is how resistant bacteria really showcase Darwinian theory.  These bugs are evolving to survive in their unique environment, adapting survival techniques thru the accquisition of resitance to live longer and multiply.  And based onwhat I’ve read lately, we’re not making it any harder for them!

via Allnurses.com and the New Yorker online
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