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Superbug

Congress Boosts Research Funding in Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Precision Medicine, BRAIN Initiative and ‘Superbugs’

Washington, DC, May 2, 2017 — Ariana Eunjung Cha reports in The Washington Post that Congress unveiled a bipartisan budget late Sunday that contains a number of welcome surprises for researchers who had been panicking since March, when President Trump proposed deep funding cuts for science and health.

Under the deal, the National Institutes of Health will get a $2 billion boost in fiscal year 2017, as it did the previous year.

Trump had proposed cutting the NIH budget by about one-fifth, or $6 billion, in a draft 2018 budget.

Here are some of the big research winners: Continue reading

‘Superbug’ Fungus Emerges as New Menace in US Hospitals, Mostly NY and NJ

New York, NY, April 27, 2017 — The Associated Press reports that a “superbug” fungus is emerging as a new menace in U.S. hospitals, mostly in New York and New Jersey.

First identified in Japan in 2009, the fungus has spread to more than a dozen countries around the globe.  The oldest of the 66 cases reported in the U.S. dates back to 2013, but most were reported in the last year.

The fungus called Candida auris is a harmful form of yeast. Continue reading

First Cases of Candida Auris Reported in U.S.; Drug-Resistant Fungal Infection Can Spread in Healthcare Settings

CDC LogoAtlanta, GA, November 6, 2016 — Thirteen cases of Candida auris (C. auris), a serious and sometimes fatal fungal infection that is emerging globally, have been identified in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Seven of the cases occurred between May 2013 and August 2016 and are described today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).  The other six cases were identified after the period covered by the report and are still under investigation.

The report is the first to describe U.S. cases of C. auris infection. C. auris is often resistant to antifungal drugs and tends to occur in hospitalized patients. Continue reading

Leaders Gather at United Nations for Global Summit on ‘Superbug’ Threat

united-nations-un-1New York, NY, September 21, 2016 ― Lena H. Sun reports in The Washington Post that for decades, public health experts have warned of the dangers of “superbugs,” microbes that can’t be stopped with drugs.

Now, for the first time, world leaders are tackling the problem at a high-level summit today at the United Nations in New York.

The meeting underscores the growing awareness by governments as well as disease experts that drug resistance is not just a health problem but an enormous economic and security threat.

It’s also an international threat, because drug resistance spreads easily across species and throughout the world, observing no political boundaries. Continue reading

HHS Forges Unprecedented Partnership to Combat ‘Superbugs’ Resistance

Superbug definitionWashington, DC, July 29, 2016 ― To address one of the greatest modern threats to public health — antibiotic resistance — the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Wellcome Trust of London, the AMR Centre of Alderley Park (Cheshire, United Kingdom), and Boston University School of Law will create one of the world’s largest public-private partnerships focused on preclinical discovery and development of new antimicrobial products.

Made possible through a cooperative agreement, the partnership promotes innovation and could provide hundreds of millions of dollars over five years to increase the number of antibiotics in the drug-development pipeline.

The Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, or CARB-X, represents a global innovation project for antibiotic products research and development. Continue reading

Infection Experts Warn of More U.S. Superbug Cases in Coming Months

Superbug definitionNew York, NY, July 12, 2016 The New York Times yesterday reported that after two confirmed U.S. cases of a superbug that thwarts a last-resort antibiotic, infectious disease experts say they expect more cases in coming months because the bacterial gene behind it is likely far more widespread than previously believed.

Army scientists in May reported finding E. coli bacteria that harbor a gene which renders the antibiotic colistin useless.  The gene, called mcr-1, was found in a urine sample of a Pennsylvania woman being treated for a urinary tract infection.

On Monday, researchers confirmed preliminary findings that E. coli carrying the same mcr-1 gene were found in a stored bacterial sample of a New York patient who had been treated for an infection last year, as well as in patient samples from nine other countries. Continue reading

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Antibiotic-Resistant ‘Superbug’

Capitol Dome HEALTHCAREWashington, DC, June 15, 2016 ― Maria Rachal reports in The Hill that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expressing growing alarm that a “superbug” crisis could strike the United States, with once treatable infections becoming lethal.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on June 14 grilled public health officials on how to best target funds at home and abroad against the threat.

The hearing came just weeks after a Pennsylvania woman became the first patient in America with MCR-1, a highly-resistant gene discovered in China last year.

“It signals the potential arrival of an unstoppable superbug,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) on Tuesday. Continue reading

U.S. Patient’s Infection Raises Specter of Superbugs Resistant to All Antibiotics

Superbug definitionNew York, NY, May 31, 2016 ― Sabrina Tavernise and Denise Grady reported in The New York Times that American military researchers have identified the first patient in the United States to be infected with bacteria that are resistant to an antibiotic that was the last resort against drug-resistant germs.

The patient is well now, but the case raises the specter of superbugs that could cause untreatable infections, because the bacteria can easily transmit their resistance to other germs that are already resistant to additional antibiotics.

The resistance can spread because it arises from loose genetic material that bacteria typically share with one another. Continue reading

CDC Reports Superbugs Cause 1 in 7 Infections Caught in Hospitals

CDC LogoWashington, DC, March 7, 2016 ― America is doing a better job of preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), but more work is needed — especially in fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest Vital Signs report urges healthcare workers to use a combination of infection control recommendations to better protect patients from these infections.

“New data show that far too many patients are getting infected with dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria in healthcare settings,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Doctors and healthcare facilities have the power to protect patients – no one should get sick while trying to get well.” Continue reading