Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Hospital superbugs now in nursing homes and the community

Hospital superbugs that can break down antibiotics are so widespread throughout Europe that doctors increasingly have to use the few remaining drugs that they reserve for emergencies. Now these hospital superbug strains have spread to nursing homes and into the community in Ireland, raising fears of wider antibiotic resistance, scientists heard today (Wednesday 28 November 2007) at the Federation of Infection Societies Conference 2007 at the University of Cardiff, UK, which runs from 28-30 November 2007.

Doctors collected 732 samples from 22 Irish hospitals over the last ten years and found that 61% of them, 448 samples, tested positive for bacteria that can produce an enzyme that destroys a whole family of common antibiotics including penicillins and cephalosporins.

“The ability to make these enzymes – called extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) –spreads very easily between different types of bacteria”, says Dr Dearbhaile Morris from the National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland. “It lets them break down many different penicillins and cephalosporins. So the genetic ability to resist very important antibiotics often spreads with the ability to make ESBLs, and that means that doctors increasingly have to use antibiotics which in the past were held back for exceptional cases”.

During the years 2003 and 2004 a severe outbreak of cystitis, an infection of the bladder, was caused in the UK by E. coli bacteria that could produce a particular type of extended spectrum beta-lactamase enzyme. The Irish research team were trying to find out how common similar strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria are in Ireland.

“Our results showed that ESBL producing bacteria, especially of the type which caused the bladder infections in the UK outbreak, are now common in Ireland as well as in other countries in Europe. We also showed that they are not just found in hospitals but also in nursing homes and in the community”, says Dr Morris.

Although cystitis is not life threatening, it is the most common form of urinary tract infection, and the economic consequences of failing to treat an outbreak quickly and properly are considerable. The patients may get no benefit at all from treatment with common antibiotics, which means that they will feel sick for longer, miss more work or household duties, and will probably have to return to their doctor for more time consuming tests and different antibiotics, increasing the costs for the health care system. In severe infections patients may suffer serious complications if the first antibiotic given to them does not work.

“It is very important to track the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria so that doctors have the information to make a good choice of antibiotic in the early stages of infection before the lab has had time to find out exactly which type of bacteria is causing the infection and which antibiotic they can depend on to work” says Dr Dearbhaile Morris. “ESBL producing bacteria can break down several of the most commonly used antibiotics in clinical practice today so it is important that we know how common they are”.

Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>