Gram-negative bacteria (MDRGNB) include common types such as E. coli that all of us carry in our bowels. When these bacteria get into other parts of the body they can cause infections, including common infections such as cystitis or urinary tract infections. The bacteria can also be readily spread from person to person. Multi-drug-resistant strains are resistant to most, or all, of the common antibiotics that we use to treat infections.
Coinciding with the first World Health Organization World Antibiotic Awareness Week The Journal of Hospital Infection (JHI) has published new NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)-accredited guidelines on the prevention and control of multi-drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (MDRGNB).
Dr. Jim Gray, Editor of The Journal of Hospital Infection, noted on the release of the guidelines, "Five or six years ago multi-resistant Gram-negative bacteria were a rarity in many UK hospitals. Now every hospital is seeing these bacteria regularly, as is evidenced by the large number of papers on the subject of MDRGNB that are published in The Journal of Hospital Infection. These guidelines, based on a synthesis of the best available evidence, will play a crucial part in ensuring that all hospitals have ready access to a comprehensive toolkit to manage the very real threat posed by MDRGNB."
Much of the focus of World Antibiotic Awareness Week is on proper use of antibiotics to help prevent or slow down, the emergence of MDRGNB. It is however also important to recognize that these bacteria are already seen in the UK and therefore it is important to have systems in place to identify patients with these bacteria, and to make sure that they do not spread further in hospitals.
Professor Peter Wilson, Professor of Microbiology at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Chairman of the working group that developed the Guidelines explained, "Multi-resistant Gram negative bacteria have spread rapidly in some areas of Europe and threaten to do so in the UK. We conducted a wide ranging review of the evidence for preventing spread of these infections and have produced straightforward practical advice which we hope can be used by all grades of staff in every healthcare setting. If widely adopted we can prevent the problem becoming widespread."
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