Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has increased by 32% since 2007 in Europe, according to a completely new report.
A new Lancet report based on data provided by EARS-Net in 2015 estimates 33,000 deaths due to AMR, 39 percent of which are caused by bacteria resistant to last line antibiotics such as carbapenem and colistin. According to estimates of the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), there were 25 100 AMR related deaths in 2007.
The study authors say that the load of these infections is comparable to influenza, tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS combined, but that the contribution of different antibiotic resistant bacteria to the total load varies greatly between countries. According to the study, 75% of the disease burden is due to healthcare related infections (HAI).
However, the problem does not appear to be limited to hospital-infected infections. Researchers at Julius Kühn Institute, Germany, reported in mBIO that fruits and vegetables are a reservoir of transmissible antibiotic resistance genes that often fly from traditional molecular detection methods. These antibiotic resistance genes can avoid culture-independent detection methods, such as PCR, but can still be transmitted to human pathogens or commensals.
The team mixed 24 samples of salad, arugula and coriander purchased from supermarkets in Germany to analyze the transmissible antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria through culture and DNA-based methods. Although initially left in abundance, TET-resistant E. coli was isolated from all purchased samples after non-selective enrichment. TET-resistant E. coli isolate was mostly isolated from coriander followed by mixed ready to eat lettuce and arugula. They further demonstrated that multilateral resistance plasmids were transferable to sensitive E. coli recipients, a process that could occur in human arm.
Almost all E. coli isolates were resistant to antibiotics from at least one class and two isolates were resistant to eight classes; tetracyclines, penicillins, third generation cephalosporins, fluorokinolones, aminoglycosides, sulfonamides, phenicols and trimethoprim. Today, there are no real-time PCR (RT-PCR) systems that allow for culture-independent detection and quantification of these plasmids in total Community DNA.
The study showed that bacteria associated with fruits and vegetables can carry different plasmids that can be an important link between environmental and human arm microbiomes. The researchers said such bacteria would be considered an important route for spreading transmissible antibiotic residues, which may be relevant to patients treated with antibiotics.
International efforts to combat AMR, such as the IMIB project ENABLE, have increased this year. At the latest World Health Summit in Berlin, German research minister Anja Karliczek announced investments of EUR 40 million for CARB-X and EUR 50 million for GARPD. Advances in the field and the latest developments in AMR diagnostics and therapy will be highlighted by developers, policy makers, regulators and IP experts at the 12th Life Science Conference in Berlin.