Antibiotic Resistance Is A Global Public Health Crisis
Antibiotics have been used for the treatment of bacterial infections for decades. Over time, the bacteria has mutated and developed resistance to reliable antibiotics, limiting options for patients. A global public health crisis has emerged as we progress toward a post antibiotic era. Of particular concern are multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacterial infections. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention estimates that more than two million people have antibiotic-resistant infections every year, with at least 23,000 dying as a result. (1) A review led by former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill estimates that by 2050, drug-resistant superbugs will be a $100 trillion problem, with 10 million annual deaths. More alarmingly, we are seeing infections by bacteria resistant to all approved antibiotics, making them clinically untreatable. Antibiotic resistance is associated with mortality of up to 50%.
Bacteria are generally classified by the composition of their cell walls into two categories: Gram-positive or Gram-negative. While new antibiotics have made progress against resistant Gram-positive bacteria (such as MRSA), effective treatment of Gram-negative bacteria is still an area of major unmet clinical need. Gram-negative pathogens are the primary cause of serious infections that require treatment in the hospital and are estimated to account for more than 30% of all hospital-acquired infections. While mortality due to these infections is already high, those caused by resistant strains result in significantly higher mortality and hospital length of stay when compared to those caused by susceptible strains.
CDC Report: Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 in the United States, 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/acinetobacter.html
WHO Antibiotic Resistance Fact Sheet: