Detect and Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance
CDC’s Initiative to outsmart this threat
It’s been called public health’s ticking time bomb. Antibiotic resistance—when bacteria don’t respond to the drugs designed to kill them—threatens to return us to the time when simple infections were often fatal. Today, antibiotic resistance annually causes more than 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the United States. Tomorrow, if it continues on its current course, could be even worse:
- A simple cut of the finger could lead to a life-threatening infection.
- Common surgical procedures, such as hip and knee replacements, would be far riskier because of the danger of infection.
- Dialysis patients could develop untreatable bloodstream infections.
- Life-saving treatments that suppress immune systems, such as chemotherapy and organ transplants, could potentially cause more harm than good.
- Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) causes deadly diarrhea mostly in people who’ve recently had medical care and antibiotics.
- Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are nightmare bacteria that are resistant to nearly all antibiotics and spread easily.
- MDR Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes gonorrhea and is showing resistance to antibiotics usually used to treat it.
- Extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL) are bacteria one step away from becoming CRE.
- MDR Salmonella causes about 100,000 illnesses in the US each year; resistant infections are more severe.
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causes skin and wound infections, pneumonia, and bloodstream infections.
- MDR Pseudomonas causes healthcare-associated pneumonia and bloodstream infections; some strains are resistant to nearly all antibiotics.
We need to outsmart antibiotic resistance - now. CDC identified four core actions to be addressed by all partners in AR:
- Detect and track patterns of antibiotic resistance.
- Respond to outbreaks involving antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
- Prevent infections from occurring and resistant bacteria from spreading.
- Discover new antibiotics and new diagnostic tests for resistant bacteria.
CDC's Detect and Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance Initiative (known as the AR Initiative) is a part of the broader CDC strategy to target investment aimed at AR. The 2015 President's Budget requests $30 million annual funding for 5 years for the AR Initiative to achieve measurable results in the first three core actions and support the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and private industry in their discovery efforts.
With a $30 million annual funding level over 5 years, CDC’s AR Initiative could achieve a:
- 50% reduction in healthcare-associated C. difficile, which saves 20,000 lives, prevents 150,000 hospitalizations, and cuts more than $2 billion in healthcare costs
- 50% reduction in healthcare-associated CRE infections
- 30% reduction in healthcare-associated multidrug-resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas, a common cause of healthcare-associated infections
- 30% reduction in invasive MRSA
- 25% reduction in MDR Salmonella infections