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”.
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences