New Research is Sounding Promising!

There is a trickle of new “out of the box” thinking when it comes to tacking the superbug crisis. Many drug companies have given up on antibiotic research as they state it is too time consuming and not cost effective. This has led some research institutes and universities to try alternative treatments to eradicate antibiotic resistant pathogens.

Bacteriophage Therapy

bacteriophage
A virus cell

A bacteriophage is a particular type of virus cell that infects bacteria. There are many types of phage cells

This receptor structure is so specific that a  phage can only attack bacteria having a cell surface that exactly “matches”. After adsorption to the bacterial surface, the phage injects its nucleic acid into the bacterium that will now be forced to produce a new phage generation by using the bacterial enzyme equipment. This therapy has been used overseas with moderate success and has recently been adopted for clinical trials in the United States. To date two companies are producing these “phage cocktails”.

New Immune System Enhancer

Microscopic view of bacterial pneumonia.

Researchers at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania fused part of an existing antibiotic with a molecule that attracts antibodies unleashed by the immune system to fight invaders such as bacteria. This uses a patients healthy immune system to attack pathogens in the bloodstream and makes the immunity enzymes stronger. Think of it as Gatorade for your immune system.

This is accomplished by fusing an antibiotic with a molecule that attracts the immune cells and they go to work immediately.

Quorum Sensing

Image result for quorum sensing

Quorum sensing is the regulation of gene expression in response to fluctuations in cell-population density. The more bacteria that are gathered, the more they “talk” to each other. Quorum sensing bacteria produce and release chemical signal molecules called autoinducers that increase in concentration as a function of cell density. The detection of a minimal threshold stimulatory concentration of an autoinducer leads to an alteration in gene expression. This can alter the DNA of a bacterium and kill it. Hpow great to tell bacteria to commit suicide. Quorum sensing has been around since the 1960’s but lately rediscovered as antibiotics are losing.

These are just a few of the innovations that are coming about. But this does not mean that hospitals and health care centers should relax on infection control. We need a multi pronged solution to a growing crisis!

 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11544353

018/jul/05/new-drug-uses-immune-system-to-wipe-out-deadly-bacteria

 

 

 

 

 

Facts About Hospital Acquired Infections

advocateAll hospitalized patients are susceptible to contracting an infection. Some patients are at greater risk than others, young children, the elderly, and persons with compromised immune systems are more likely to get an infection. Other risk factors are long hospital stays, the use of indwelling catheters, failure of healthcare workers to wash their hands, failure to properly sterilize instruments, and overuse of antibiotics.

In American hospitals alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that HAIs account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year. Of these infections:

  • 32 % of all healthcare acquired infection are urinary tract infections
  • 22 % are surgical site infections
  • 15 % are pneumonia (lung infections)
  • 14 % are bloodstream infections

The overall direct cost of HAIs to hospitals ranges from $28 billion to 45 billion annually. While the range is wide, HAIs are clearly expensive. Not only to hospitals with re admissions and extra care ; but also to the patient with compounded physician visits, fuel costs, medications costs as well  as a devastating change in lifestyle.

gp-chart-0302-infectionsjpg-95a6a0bf6161c447

As patients we must speak up! You can lobby congress for funding the fight on antibiotic resistance, write letters to local agencies, get on social media about it as well as lobby local TV outlets to talk about this growing threat.

Inspiring Bio Sales Team!

I was recently invited by T2 Biosystems in Lexington Massachusetts to tell my story at a global sales meeting. T2 has just created a new whole blood pathogen detection system that will give a physician faster results than a culture when they have a septic patient. This system was recently FDA approved! Many said my story both moved them as well as inspired them to show potential hospitals how this can save lives. Thank you T2!!

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Amy Crosby and Karla Gonye of T2 marketing with myself

New Board Appointee!

“Silent Threats…..silent patients”

The Healthcare Surfaces Summit

What an honor to be appointed as an Advisory Board member for the Healthcare Surfaces Summit. The Summit meets every August along with registered attendees that consist of researchers, prevention innovators, infection control professionals, as well as members of the CDC to brainstorm solutions to hospital infections. New innovations are showcased so that they can be launched as solutions.

Mary Millard (guest speaker), Linda Lybert, Glenda Schuh

 

Linda Lybert, president of Healthcare Surfaces Consulting and the founder of the HSS, along my myself and Glenda Schuh, RN, BSN, CIC.

 

 

 

You are welcome to visit the website and sign up if you have an innovation or insights on stopping this insidious problem.

Healthcare Sufaces Summit