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Get Ready for World Antibiotic Awareness Week

November 16th, 2017 / Christine Valle

Join us in the fight against antimicrobial resistance

This year, the week of November 13th has been designated World Antibiotic Awareness Week by the World Health Organization (WHO). Antibiotic resistance has rapidly become a major public health threat and the situation is only getting more dire with the rapid rise of multi-drug resistance in many common bacterial species.

Get Ready for World Antibiotic Awareness Week

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2 million people in the U.S. contract drug-resistant bacteria each year, and more than 23,000 people die from such infections. In 2014, when the WHO published its first report on antimicrobial resistance, Assistant Director-General for Health Security Keiji Fukuda said, “Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era.” Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are now found throughout the world, and in some regions, these strains have become more common than non-resistant strains. CDC maintains a list of the biggest threats, designating carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and C. difficile, among many others, as critical problems for the U.S. healthcare system.

Naturally, diagnostics have a large role to play in addressing the antibiotic resistance crisis, and we’ve been pleased to see many new antimicrobial stewardship programs launched in hospitals to take advantage of these tools for rapidly identifying and confronting local outbreaks. Studies have already shown that such programs can dramatically reduce the use of antibiotics and eliminate their use entirely for infections that are not bacterial. Here’s an example, published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, that shows how appropriate testing contributed to a reduction in vancomycin use.

We’re committed to developing advanced molecular tests to help those on the front lines of antibiotic resistance. Our R&D scientists have focused on generating some of the fastest, most flexible diagnostics available today. These allow clinical lab professionals to get medically actionable answers in just a few hours, helping doctors make timely, informed decisions about therapy. Some examples include our tests for bloodstream and gastrointestinal infections.

Please join us in honoring all of the medical professionals and scientists working so hard to address the threat of antibiotic resistance. And spread the word about World Antibiotic Awareness Week!

If you’re interested in hearing more about what infectious diseases experts are saying about antimicrobial stewardship, check out these blogs:
Investment Needed in Antimicrobial Stewardship
Vanderbilt Clinical Labs Choose VERIGENE® Blood Culture Tests

Learn more about our infectious diseases portfolio