The Danger of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

More than 200 rare antibiotic-resistant genes were found in “nightmare” bacteria tested in 2017, according to a Vital Signs report released Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I was surprised by the numbers we found,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.
The report focused on the new and highly resistant germs that have yet to spread widely. Still, a variety of resistant germs can be found in every state.
“Two million Americans get infections from antibiotic resistance, and 23,000 die from those infections each year,” Schuchat said.
Testing 5,776 isolates of antibiotic-resistant germs from hospitals and nursing homes, the CDC found that about one in four had a gene that helped spread its resistance, while 221 contained an “especially rare resistance gene,” she said.
“This wasn’t just a problem in one or two states,” Schuchat said, adding that the 221 rare genes were found in isolates gathered in 27 states from infection samples that included pneumonia, bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections.
Because this was the first year of testing for rare genes, the CDC does not have trend data, she said, but she hopes this won’t be the “beginning of an inevitable march upwards.”
The new report highlights the work of the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network, formed in 2016 to help detect antibiotic resistance in health care, food and the community.
In 1988, health officials in the United States learned that some germs within one family of bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, could produce an enzyme capable of breaking down common antibiotics. By 2001, the germs had begun to evolve, becoming more resistant to carbapenems and other antibiotic drugs. These carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE — dubbed “nightmare bacteria” by the CDC — spread rapidly in the US and around the globe.
Today, the CDC promotes an aggressive “containment strategy” that includes rapid detection tests and screening for reducing the spread of antibiotic resistance.
“CDC estimates show that even if only 20% effective, the containment strategy can reduce the number of nightmare bacteria cases by 76% over three years in one area,” Schuchat said.
While public health officials concentrate on containment protocols, each of us can help limit antibiotic resistance by keeping our hands clean and disinfecting cuts, the CDC recommends. Also, it is important to talk to health care providers about preventing infections through vaccines and other measures while informing them whether you have been treated in another facility or country.
“Even in remote areas, the threat of (resistant) pathogens is real,” Butler said. Because patients transfer from hospitals and nursing homes, germs can spread across the nation.
Dr. Arjun Srinivasan of the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion emphasized the hopeful message contained in the new report.


While a single provider may be at the center of each case of antibiotic resistance, “no provider has to go it alone,” he said. Working with hospital and state infection control teams, the spread of a rare infection can be stopped.
It’s not a “one and done” deal, Srinivasan said. Health officials “keep at it,” he said, until the spread of a potentially deadly infection is controlled.

Your Hands Are The Key

Did you know that 85% of all infections are carried by your hands.  Your hands touch just about everything and you do touch you mouth, eyes, ears and nose 1 to 3 times every 5 minutes.  These are portals of entry into body for bacteria, viruses, yeast and mold.   Just look others around you and you will see that this scientific fact is true.  The other 15% of the time you are infected by someone who is sick and sneezing or perhaps you ate something that was contaminated with pathogenic bacteria or a nasty virus.  This is why it is important to keep your hands clean and as germ free as possible.

Germs in the Gym

MRSA Superbug in Gym Clubs: 7 Ways to Stay Safe

High Incidence Among School Athletes Puts Spotlight On Health Clubs

With the number of MRSA Superbug cases rising among high school and college athletes, could the same risk factors put members of commercial gyms and health clubs at risk? Common sense says yes.

An inventory of the leading medical establishments’ MRSA-related websites shows that there is cause for extra caution these days while working on your abs and taking yoga class at your local health club.

The Mayo Clinic reports the following risk factors:

Participating in contact sports. CA-MRSA has crept into both amateur and professional sports teams. The bacteria is spread easily through cuts and abrasions and skin-to-skin contact.

-Sharing towels or athletic equipment. Although few outbreaks have been reported in public gyms, CA-MRSA has spread among athletes sharing razors, towels, uniforms or equipment.

From the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) on preventing MRSA:

practicing good hygiene (e.g., keeping your hands clean by washing with soap and water or using a quality hand sanitizer with a proven efficacy and showering immediately after participating in exercise);

-avoiding sharing personal items (e.g., towels, razors) that come into contact with your bare skin; and using a barrier (e.g., clothing or a towel) between your skin and shared equipment such as weight-training benches.

While the CDC advice was directed more to the school setting, the same opportunities for the spread of MSRA exist in membership gyms and health clubs as well.

Some easy precautions for avoiding MRSA while working on your abs at the local health club:

  1. Many gyms provide cleaning sprays like Microcide SQ and paper towels for use by patrons. Spray the handles of cardio equipment both before and after use. If your health club does not provide cleaning products, tell them they should.
  2. Use a towel between you and the bench when lifting weights.
  3. Use a towel between you and hand weights when weight training,
  4. Carry an proven hand sanitizer that meets CDC guidelines, like Microsan RX Foaming Hand Sanitizer and use it between machines when circuit training.
  5. Bring your own yoga mat.
  6. Ask if your gym washes and dries towels in hot water and hot dryers. If you suspect it doesn’t, or they don’t know, bring your own towels from home.
  7. Wash your own gym clothes at home in hot water and a hot dryer after every work-out.

Medical experts believe that the MRSA Superbug evolved from a common Staph bacterium because of  the over prescribing of prescription antibiotics.