News: Antibiotic Resistance in the News


December 2010

December 2010
WHO endorses test for rapid molecular detection of TB

December 21, 2010
House Passes Food Safety Bill

December 21, 2010
Pew: Approval of Landmark Legislation Will Limit Dangers in the U.S Food Supply

December 20, 2010
FDA Reveals How Many Antibiotics Factory Farms Really Use

December 17, 2010
CDC Issues 2010 Treatment Guidelines for Sexually Transmitted Diseases

December 13, 2010
FDA Releases First Estimate on Antibiotics in Agriculture-29 million pounds!

November 2010

November 24, 2010
Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID Director, speaks about increasing number of antibiotic resistant diseases; Congressman Phil Gingrey discusses his legislation to increase the number of antibiotics in the pipeline - C-SPAN

November 5, 2010
Antibiotics Research Subsidies Weighed by U.S.

November 4, 2010
Common Antibacterial Agent Could Cause Pregnancy Issues

October 2010

October 16, 2010
Sequencing of superbugs seen as key to combating their spread- Nature Medicine Journal article

October 7, 2010
MA Dept. Public Health will survey hospitals to measure incidence of NDM-1 bacterium in MA

October 7, 2010
MRSA hits lobstermen in Maine

October 6, 2010
FDA strengthens its focus on antibiotic resistance

August 2010

August 11, 2010
Scientists find new superbug spreading from India

June 2010

June 14, 2010
A new report, The Race Against Drug Resistance, from the Center for Global Development says there is a need for urgent action to tackle the growing crisis of drug resistance.

April 2010

April 14, 2010
Keep Antibiotics Working, IDSA, APHA, The Pew Charitable Trusts, UCS sponsor Capital Hill Briefings titled "Antibiotic Use on the Farm and Public Health: A Looming Crisis."

April 1, 2010
Interagency Action Plan Public Comment from APUA

March 2010

March 16, 2010
Read APUA's letters to Representative Obey and Senator Harkin on the CDC's budget cuts for antimicrobial resistance programs.

March 15, 2010
Outwitting germs that never say die

March 6, 2010
Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times on superbugs and antibiotics in farm animal production

March 2010
Duets beyond music: tackling the flu, seasonal and pandemic vaccines


February 12, 2010
Cost of Antibiotic Resistance Shifting from Public to Private Payers

February 9, 2010
Katie Couric discusses the overuse of antibiotics in animals and human health (See Story) and Denmark's case for banning growth-promoting antibiotics (See Story)

January 2010

January 25, 2010
APUA Letter to Rep. Markey RE: triclosan

January 20, 2010
WebMD: Relapses in C. diff infections reduced

January 19, 2010
Infection follows disaster in Haiti


Antibiotic Ban for Medics

American Academy of Microbiology releases report on antibiotic resistance

July, 2009
Squashing Superbugs--The Race for New Antibiotics


August 11, 2008
Superbugs by Jerome Groopman

August 11, 2008
Editorial Commentary: Antibiotics for Treatment of Acute Respiratory Tract Infections: Decreasing Benefit, Increasing Risk, and the Irrelevance of Antimicrobial Resistance

July 29, 2008
Current Regulatory Debate on Preventative Use of Antibiotics in Food Animals 

July 10, 2008
APUA Briefing Material: Resistant Infections in Soldiers in Iraq 

June 24 , 2008
AVMA's written testimony and information about the issue is posted on AVMA's food safety advocacy website 

Dr. Phil on MRSA

March, 2008
"THE IRAQIBACTER" dangerous germ now striking war wounded 

March 25, 2008
TB Patients Chafe Under Lockdown in South Africa

March 4, 2008
Antibiotics Questioned in Care at Life's End

February 12, 2008
Resistant Meningitis Strain Found

January 9, 2008
Wrestling with the risk of MRSA No cases reported thus far, as coaches and athletes focus on prevention

January 8, 2008
Will Antibiotics Beat a Sinus Infection?


November 20, 2007
Scientists Decode Genes of Resistant TB 

November 7, 2007
Healthcare Workers Not Doing Enough to Inform Victims of MRSA Staph Infections

October 31, 2007
Over Half of MRSA Patients Received No Information About the Disease

October 30, 2007
Germ Fighters May Lead to Hardier Germs

October 23, 2007
Bad Bugs, Few Drugs

October 17, 2007
Resistant Hospital Acquired Infections Growing

September 23, 2007
Threat From the New E. coli

September 13, 2007
CA-MRSA The New Sports Pathogen

August 24, 2007
Fighting Superbugs- Congressional Quarterly

Oct 9, 2007
A CIPARS study provided data to stakeholders leading to a voluntary withdrawal in Québec chicken hatcheries of the extra-label use of ceftiofur 

June 17, 2007
Antibiotics in Failing Health

June 13, 2007
Cefquinome: When Regulation Collides With Biology

June 7, 2007
Strange But True: Antibacterial Products May Do More Harm Than Good

June 5, 2007 
Specialists to Say Drug-Resistant TB to Occur More

March 27, 2007
MSF Data Shows Drug-Resistant TB Treatment Succeeds in Barely Half of All Patients

March 26, 2007
C. difficile Cases in Hospital Wards Reduced with Use of Narrow Spectrum Antibiotics

March 20, 2007
Hold the Pickles and the Penicillin: Leading Food-Service Company to Serve Antibiotic Free Hamburgers Nationwide

March 20, 2007
Bon Appetit Management Co. Stays Ahead of the Curve, Naturally

March 20, 2007
Rise of Deadly TB Reveals a Global System in Crisis

March 6, 2007
New Antibiotic Now Available to Battle MRSa in Canadian Hospitals

March 4, 2007
FDA Rules Override Warnings About Drug

March 4, 2007
Household Antibacterial Products Can Be Dangerous

March 1, 2007
Genome Sequence Shows What Makes Bacteria Dangerous for Troops in Iraq

February 27, 2007
Majority of South Africans with HIV Have Drug-Resistant TB

February 26, 2007
CROI: Urgent Action Needed to Avert 'Catastrophic' Drug-Resistant TB Epidemic

February 25, 2007
Hospitals' Hidden Danger

February 22, 2007
Swimming 'To The Left' Gets Bacteria Upstream and May Promote Infection

February 21, 2007
Transmitted TB Resistance High in Shanghai

February 8, 2007
Doctors Say Superbug Battle is Winnable

February 8, 2007
Antibiotic Overuse Does Make Microbes Resistant

February 2007
The Invisible Enemy in Iraq

February 6, 2007
No Reliable Risk Factors Found for CA-MRSA

February 6, 2007
Anti-MRSA Pajamas Trialled

January 27, 2007
Virulent TB in South Africa May Imperil Millions

January 23, 2007
New Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Cases Appearing in South Africa

January 18, 2007
Staph Toxin Can Trigger Deadly Pneumonia

January 15, 2007
Researchers Discover Surprising Drug that Blocks Malaria


December 25, 2006
Hospital Infections Kill 10,000 per Year- UK

November 28, 2006
Roche Says Tamiflu Resistance Fears Unfounded

November 27, 2006
Antibiotic Indulgence: Misuse of a Miracle

November 25, 2006 
The Arms Race in Hand Soap Leads to Serious Overkill

November 20, 2006
One Preop Antibiotic is as Good as Several Postop

November 20, 2006 
Skip the Antibacterial Soap

November 19, 2006
New Treatment Uses Human Antibodies to Target C. difficile Toxins

November 14, 2006
To Catch a Deadly Germ

November 2, 2006
Prior Hopital Room Occupants: A Source of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

November 14, 2006
HIV/AIDS Linked to Extensive Drug Resistant TB

November 7, 2006
Most Ear Infections Host Both Bacteria and Viruses

October 31, 2006 
Superbug Vaccine Shows Promise

October 24, 2006 
Why Isn't the US Killing Off More Hospital Infections?

October 23, 2006 
Antibiotic Resistance Genes Found in Colorado River Water

October 20, 2006
Prevalence of Drug Resistant Microbes in Hospitals Can Be Reduced

October 18, 2006 
Deadly XDR-TB Found in All Nine Provinces of South Africa

October 14, 2006 
Increased Levels of Antibiotic Resistance in Gonorrhea, UK

October 13, 2006 
Antibiotics in Poultry May Pose Risk to Humans

October 3, 2006 
Carbapenems Still Effective Against Most Microbial Isolates: MYSTIC Data Presented at ICAAC

September 26, 2006
Utilizing a Natural Enemy to Kill E. coli

August 28, 2006
Scientists Find Anthrax 'Blocker'

August 29, 2006
Protein Structure Reveals New Antibiotic Treatment

August 24, 2006 
Sick of Getting Sick? Embrace Your Inner Bacteria

August 21, 2006 
Skin Scourge- Boston Globe

August 19, 2006
Study Finds MRSA Most Common Cause of Skin Infections in US ERs

August 19, 2006 
Staph Infection Outbreak in Duluth Prison

August 7, 2006 
UK Grants Support Antibiotic Resistance Research

August 3, 2006
1 in 3 Patients Initially Receive Inappropriate Treatment for MRSA Infection

August 3, 2006  
Washington Redskins Take Precautions Against MRSA

August 2, 2006 
Pittsburgh VA Cracking Down on MRSA

August 1, 2006  
Resistant Hospital Acquired Pneumonia Doubly Lethal

July 26, 2006
Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Joins Battle Against Antibiotic Resistance

July 25, 2006
More than 51,000 UK Patients Over Age 65 Catch C. difficile per Year

July 24, 2006 
Inadequate Hospital hand Hygiene is Spreading MRSA

July 11, 2006  
Bulky Biofilms Found in Kid's Ears

July 10, 2006  
Performance Measures May Lead to Overuse of Antibiotics

July 2, 2006  
Seafloor as Potential Source of New Antibiotics

June 25, 2006 
How Clostridium diffi
cile can evade attack

June 23, 2006 
MRSA Infections Have Been Linked to Illegal Tattoos

June 17 , 2006
Houseflies in Restaurants Carry Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

April 18, 2006 
Fishtanks: A Reservoir of Multi Drug Resistant Salmonella

March 14, 2006 
Baby Antibiotics 'Link to Asthma'


Drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii bacterial infections rising in American military
August 4, 2005 
Health providers have detected unexpectedly high rates of infection by drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii, a hardy, common bacterium, in American military personnel wounded in Iraq. A. baumannii carry natural drug resistance genes, in addition to developing resistance under antibiotic selective pressure. Because A. baumannii are able to survive on surfaces for up to 20 days, they pose a high risk of spread and contamination in hospitals, potentially putting immune-compromised and other patients at risk for costly and often deadly drug resistant infections. As more infected soldiers return from abroad, there is mounting concern for the possible implications for the U.S. health care system and the Veterans Affairs system in particular.

For more information please see:

APUA GAARD Report Published in CID
August 3, 2005  

The 2005 Report of the Global Advisory on Antibiotic Resistance Data (GAARD), entitled "Global Antimicrobial Resistance Alerts and Implications" has been published as a supplement to Clinical Infectious Diseases, 15 August 2005, Volume 41. The report provides a uniquely comprehensive view of drug resistance patterns across the major infectious diseases by combining findings from diverse international surveillance systems run by the world's leading infectious disease experts. The document focuses on the most troubling and urgent infectious disease threats whose cures are imperiled by antimicrobial resistance: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, gonorrhea, pneumonia, and hospital-associated infections. See full report or learn more about the GAARD project.

FDA Bans Use of Enrofloxacin (Baytril) in Poultry!
July 28, 2005 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is no longer allowing the use of the Cipro-like antimicrobial enrofloxacin for treating bacterial infections in poultry. Enrofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that is marketed by Bayer Corporation as Baytril. This represents the first time that the FDA has withdrawn the use of an animal drug due to concerns about emergence of antimicrobial resistance and its human health impact. Read the FDA’s Press Release and Final Decision. Also see APUA’s Ecology Program for more details.

APUA Sponsors Congressional Staff Briefing on Capitol Hill
July 19, 2005


Drug-resistant staph infections cited outside hospitals - Boston Globe
April 7, 2005

Expert call for radical action on superbugs - Manchester Guardian
February 10, 2005


Release of Antibiotic Policies: Theory and Practice, edited by Ian Gould and J.W. van der Meer. Preface written by Stuart Levy and a chapter on Antibiotic Policies in the Developing World written by Anibal Sosa.
See excerpt from the book.


2003 Annual Leadership Award Reception
Sept 15, 2003
The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) honored McDonald's Corporation and scientists at the Danish Veterinary Institute at its 2003 Annual Leadership Award Reception, held at the 43rd International Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Chicago.
See the complete press release. 

Drug-Free Food
July 14, 2003
By Valerie Reitman, LA Times Staff Writer
McDonald's decision to remove antibiotics from meat products could be an effective weapon in the fight to prevent drug resistance. For nearly half a century, farmers have been feeding poultry and some livestock the same antibiotics - penicillin, tetracycline, bacitracin - used to treat sick human beings. See the complete article.

SARS --Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
April, 2003
The recent epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, underscores the increasingly global nature of infectious disease and the need for international public health vigilance. Having emerged in November 2002 in southern China's Guangdong province, the deadly illness has since spread to Asia, Europe, and North America.

For current information on SARS: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Department of Health, Hong Kong SAR, China
Ministry of Health, Singapore
Health Canada:

New Wave of Community MRSA in Boston and in San Francisco Alarms Doctors.
March 5th, 2003
APUA is concerned to see the recent reports of methicillin resistant Staph aureus (MRSA) appearing in patients in communities and in community hospitals in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston. This finding is further evidence of the emergence and threat of a critically important resistance problem in the community which was previously primarily faced in tertiary care settings. Clearly, the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in the community is the major contributing force. APUA through its GAARD and ROAR programs, aims to find ways to identify an incipient resistance problem before it occurs and to recommend appropriate interventions to prevent the resistance problem from emerging and spreading in the community. For now, we must continue to encourage the prudent use of antibiotics for common bacterially-caused illnesses. See the San Francisco Chronicle article

FDA issues Final Rule on Labeling Requirements for Systemic Antibacterial Drug Products Intended for Human Use.
February 5, 2003 


Second confirmed case of Vancomycin-resistant S. aureus in the US
October 11, 2002
see the CDC report.

Curb farm antibiotics
August 29, 2002
Panel recommends restricting drugs used on livestock as fears of risk to humans increase See the full article

Experts Issue Report to Health Canada on Use of Antimicrobials in Food Animals June, 2002
An Advisory Committee, represented by a wide range of experts and stakeholders submitted its consensus report, Uses of Antimicrobials in Food Animals in Canada:
Impact on Resistance and Human Health, to Canada in June 2002.
The Report was made available to the public in September. The Committee made 38 recommendations for actions by public health officials, veterinary professional organizations or industry to better protect the health and interests of Canadians. 

Vancomycin-resistant S. aureus in the US
July 5, 2002
In 1996, the first case of reduced susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus to vancomycin was reported in Japan. In July 2002, the CDC reported the first case of vancomycin-resistant S. aureus in the US (vancomycin MIC >32 µg/mL). The CDC cautions that "The emergence of VRSA underscores the need for programs to prevent the spread of antimicrobial-resistant microorganisms and control the use of anti-microbial drugs in health-care settings." See the CDC report.

Decline in antibiotic prescribing reported
June 19, 2002
Antibiotic prescriptions for children have decreased dramatically in the US over eleven years. A survey conducted by the CDC of office-based physicians shows that antibiotic prescriptions for children under 15 years-old decreased from 46 million to 30 million from 1989 to 2000. The number of visits to physicians' offices remained constant during that time. The study found specific declines in prescriptions for pharyngitis and upper respiratory tract infection; however, prescribing rates for sinusitis did not change. The original study is published in JAMA 2002, 287:3096-3102. See also the CDC press release and an article in the Washington Post.

Strep throat bacteria show resistance to antibiotics
April 17, 2002
A recent study from the U.S. reports an outbreak of Group A Streptococci (GAS) that are resistant to erythromycin, an antibiotic commonly used to treat strep throat. GAS are the most common cause of strep throat, a disease that can lead to rheumatic fever in a small percentage of patients. In a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, 48% of throat cultures from schoolchildren containing GAS were resistant to erythromycin.

Alerted by this unusual outbreak in the school in Pittsburgh, PA, the researchers gathered similar data from the surrounding Pittsburgh community. Of 100 throat cultures containing GAS, 38% of them were resistant to erythromycin. This study suggests that erythromycin-resistant strep throat infections may be more widespread than is commonly acknowledged. The original study was published in NEJM 2002 Vol 346, No 16, pgs 1200-1206


Pharmacy at U. Pennsylvania Restricts Antibiotic Sales
October 16, 2001
In response to the ongoing stockpiling of antibiotics, the pharmacy at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is restricting sales of ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, doxycycline and amoxicillin in the outpatient pharmacy. All prescriptions for these agents must include an indication to justify use. Only a 10-day supply of antibiotics will be dispensed; however, proven infections requiring longer courses of therapy will be handled on an individual basis. Prescriptions for personal stockpiles will not be filled. The University of Pennsylvania adopted this policy to be proactive, to prevent depletion of existing stores of antibiotics, and to reduce the sense of paranoia and alarm concerning the hospital's antibiotic supply.
This action by the pharmacy at the Univ. of Pennsylvania is in keeping with the recommendations of Dr. Stuart Levy, President of APUA, that third party payers and pharmacists should not dispense ciprofloxacin or other antibiotics without a specific indication for their use.

WHO Global Strategy     September, 2001
To combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its first Global Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance. APUA developed one of the technical documents supporting the WHO Global Strategy, Antibiotic resistance: synthesis of recommendations by expert policy groups.

AMA Recommends Restricting Antibiotic Use in Animals      June 2001
The policy making group of the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a resolution at its 2001 annual meeting opposing the sub therapeutic uses of antimicrobials in animal agriculture and called for regulations to support this stance. The AMA resolution says that almost 80% of antimicrobial use in agriculture is for growth promotion, as pesticides, or prophylactic (disease prevention). The resolution notes that this prolonged low-level use of antimicrobials is likely to promote the development of resistance. The resolution states that the increase of antimicrobial resistance is a threat to human health.

The Animal Health Institute (AHI) responded with a statement saying that the AMA's resolution was too sweeping and was "an ineffective solution to addressing antibiotic resistance." In particular, the AHI says that there is little scientific evidence indicating a transfer of antibiotic resistance from animals to humans. The AHI advocates additional efforts into research and monitoring antimicrobial resistance.

The Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2001      May 15, 2001
On May 9, Rep. Sherrod Brown, (D. Ohio) introduced HR 1771, the Antibiotic Resistance Act of 2001. (The version appended here is the one that was introduced, despite its not having a bill number nor cosponsors listed on the bill.)
This bill seeks funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to implement the priority items in the Federal Government's Interagency Action Plan, adopted in January 2001. The bill pertains only to DHHS agencies. The bill begins with a list of findings and then includes the priority action items.
Rep. Brown is the Ranking Minority Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health. The Chairman of the Subcommittee, Rep. Bilikraus, (R. Florida), joined in support of the bill.
At a press conference announcing the bill, Rep. Brown was joined by other Members of Congress -- Rep. Slaughter (NY)(a microbiologist), Rep. Waxman (CA) (former chair of House Committee on Energy and Commerce), Rep. Ganske (Iowa)(a physician), Rep. Pallone, and Rep. Greene.
Other cosponsors of the bill included: Rep. John Dingel, Ranking Member, Energy and Commerce (Michigan), Rep. DeGette (Colorado), Rep. Jones (Ohio), Rep. Kildee (Michigan), Rep. Towns (NY), Rep. Lee (California), Rep. Filner (CA), Rep. Capuano (MA), and Rep. Kucinich (Ohio).
Last year the Science Committee in the House expressed interest in holding hearings on antibiotic resistance and one possibility is that this Committee might hold a hearing on this bill sometime during the summer.
If you have questions on the bill, please contact Earl Seeley, staff to Rep. Brown, or Barbara Souder at APUA. 

Five Patients Show Resistance to Linezolid, a Novel Antibiotic      April, 2001
As the first structurally different antibiotic introduced in almost 3 decades, Linezolid held, and still holds, great promise as a powerful new drug for treating difficult infections. However, the emergence of resistance to this new antibiotic in 5 patients, recently reported in The Lancet (vol. 354:1179 April 14, 2001), undermines confidence in its continued efficacy. All five patients received the drug for prolonged periods of time (21-40 days). The findings again demonstrate that long-term use of a single antibiotic increases the chance for emergence of strains bearing resistance. A major lesson is that any new antibiotic can quickly become ineffective due to resistance in patients undergoing chronic long-term use. New classes of antibiotics are needed to fight these resistant infections.

US Interagency Action Plan      Jan. 18, 2001
The US Department of Health and Human Services released its Interagency Action Plan for fighting antimicrobial resistance. The Action Plan sets priorities and deadlines for ten US agencies and departments in the following areas: 1) surveillance, 2) prevention and control, 3) research, and 4) product development. These four areas contain 84 action items, including 13 priority action steps considered essential to addressing antimicrobial resistance. Of these 13 priorities, seven are already underway, and six are planned to begin within the next one to two years.
press release
comparison of the draft and final Action Plan
APUA's comments on the draft Action Plan


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