- Germs with abnormal resistance generally include those that cannot be killed by all or most antibiotics, are uncommon in a geographic area or the U.S., or have very specific genes that allow them to spread their resistance to other germs.
Rapid identification of the new threats is the first step in CDC’s containment strategy to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance (AR). When a germ with unusual resistance is discovered, facilities can isolate patients very quickly and begin aggressive infection control and screening actions to discover and stop transmission to others.
“CDC”s study discovered many dangerous pathogens, hiding in plain sight, that has high capabilities of causing infections that are difficult to treat,” said CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D. “It’s reassuring to see that state and local experts, using our containment strategy, identified and stopped these resistant bacteria before they had the opportunity to spread.”
The CDC containment strategy calls for rapid identification of resistance, infection control assessments, testing patients without symptoms who may carry and spread the germ, and continued infection control assessments until spread is stopped. The strategy needs a coordinated response among health care facilities, labs, health departments and CDC through the AR Lab Network. Health departments using the approach have further conducted infection control assessments and colonization screenings within 48 hours of finding unusual resistance and have reported no further transmission during follow-up.
The strategy applauds foundational CDC efforts Wich included improving antibiotic use and preventing new infections, and builds on existing detection and response infrastructure. New data suggest that the containment strategy can highly prevent thousands of difficult-to-treat or potentially untreatable infections, including high-priority threats such as Candida auris and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
Germs will always and will continuously develop ways to fight new and existing antibiotics, stopping new resistance from developing is currently not possible. Recent, nationwide infrastructure investments in laboratories, infection control, and response are enabling tailored, quick investigations to keep resistance from spreading in health care settings.
Other findings recently showed that:
One in four germ samples sent to the AR Lab Network for testing surprisingly had special genes that allow them to spread their resistance to other germs.