ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCES ARE A GLOBAL CHALLENGE

Background Information

The achievements of modern medicine are threatened by the increasing incidence of pathogens that exhibit resistances to individual or even multiple antibiotic classes (report by the World Health Organization (WHO) 2014). 

The emergence and proliferation of antibiotic resistance across the world has developed into a serious public health problem, since these resistances make it increasingly difficult to treat bacterial infections. Every year approximately 400,000 people in Europe become infected with multi-resistant microorganisms, 
25,000 die. The spread of resistant bacteria poses a threat to patients in hospitals and represents a serious risk factor because morbidity, mortality and the duration of hospital stays are rising significantly.

In Central Europe primarily gram-positive infectious pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) were in the foreground. For a number of years gram-negative pathogens have also increasingly been becoming the focus of attention. Particularly threatening here are infections with ESBL (extended-spectrum-ß-lactamase) forming Enterobacteriaceae (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, among others), carbapenemase-forming Pseudomonas spp. as well as almost completely resistant Acinetobacter baumannii.

Numerous studies have proven that the established empiric antibiotic therapies may fail here. The growing spread of resistant pathogens in Europe also means a cost increase in the public health sector due to the lengthening of hospital stays, more time-consuming treatments and more comprehensive hygiene measures in the affected hospitals.