Navigation Links
Confronting the challenge of antimicrobial resistance

Drug resistance is making many diseases increasingly difficult--and sometimes impossible--to treat, according to Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are just two recent examples of this problem that pose serious threats to domestic and global health, he adds. In a new report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online, Dr. Fauci outlines NIAIDs commitment to addressing this urgent public health issue.

The innate ability of microbes to evade containment and destruction by drugs through rapid reproduction and genetic mutation is exacerbated by the overuse and misuse of existing antimicrobial drugs, Dr. Fauci and his coauthors note. Other factors contributing to the upswing in drug resistance include a dearth of rapid diagnostic tests that would allow physicians to better gauge whether a given infection is drug-susceptible or drug-resistant, and a paucity of clinical trial data to guide therapeutic strategies.

NIAID is meeting the complex challenge of antimicrobial resistance through a multifaceted research approach that includes partnerships with other federal agencies, academia, industry and non-governmental organizations, the authors report. In fiscal year 2007, NIAID invested more than $800 million to support basic and translational research on antimicrobials, more than $200 million of which was devoted to understanding the causes, consequences and treatments of antimicrobial drug resistance.

Basic research projects under way at NIAID or in NIAID-supported labs across the country include the following:

  • Investigations of mechanisms of resistance and how these traits are acquired and passed on by microbes
  • Research on factors that contribute to the virulence of pathogens such as MRSA
  • Efforts to better understand and ultimately prevent biofilms--slimy coatings made by communities of bacteria that are impervious to the effects of antibiotics
  • Creation of computer-based virtual microbial metabolic pathways that allow quick identification of potential drug targets

Facilitating the translation of basic research findings into better diagnostics, new therapies and novel strategies to slow the emergence of antimicrobial resistance is also an area of emphasis for the Institute, write the authors. The following are examples of the many applied and translational research programs supported by NIAID:

  • Numerous clinical trials, including is assessing the need for antibiotics in children with acute middle-ear infections; and two trials designed to test off-patent oral antibiotics for treating uncomplicated community-associated MRSA
  • Preclinical development of vaccine candidates to prevent staphylococcal infections
  • Efforts to improve diagnostics, particularly for healthcare-associated bacterial infections that are already or are likely to become drug-resistant, such as Clostridium difficile, Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter
  • DNA sequencing and other genomics resources that aid in discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics

Finally, the authors outline several new and established NIAID partnerships addressing antimicrobial resistance, including

  • The Federal Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance, co-chaired by NIAID, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration, which implements an annually updated action plan
  • The international Lilly Not-For-Profit Partnership for TB Early Phase Drug Discovery, which integrates the expertise of the pharmaceutical industry with university-based researchers to develop new drugs against TB, including multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant forms of TB
  • A collaboration with the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases to advance new drugs to treat dengue fever

With antimicrobial resistance, we face the perpetual challenge of maintaining a favorable balance between microbes and humans, says Dr. Fauci. The efforts of NIAID and all our partners from the public health, research and pharmaceutical sectors are critical to addressing this challenge and thus keeping us at least one step ahead of our microbial foes.


Contact: Anne A. Oplinger
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Related medicine news :

1. ADA Challenges Marylanders to Step Out to Fight Diabetes Epidemic
2. LifeQuest Announces End of Immunity Health Challenge Contest
3. Braun Challenges Business School Talent To Create A Buzz
4. Medifast Announces Winners of Mother-Daughter Challenge
5. The Fight for His Life: Author, Family Battle Disease and Challenge Politics in the Face of Survival
6. Genetics Hold Promise, Challenges for Cancer Care
7. Actavis Confirms its Patent Challenge of Kings Avinza(R)
8. Childhood Obesity Epidemic a Long-Term Challenge
9. Planning for 2020: increasing elderly population poses huge challenges in cancer care
10. Barr Confirms Patent Challenge of UROXATRAL(R)
11. The Challenge: Make It A Million (Pounds Lost That Is)
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The Multiple System Atrophy ... and funds for Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) research, timed today to coincide with Giving ... things from patients including their ability to work and be productive, to do simple ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Henderson, a town of about 6,300 people, ... a partnership this year with Aeneas Internet and Telephone. , With faster Internet ... entrepreneurs who want to build a business. Whether startups or long established companies, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Integrated Rental Services (“Integrated Rental”), a growing medical equipment ... With support from JII, Integrated Rental is poised for expansion while improving its ... labs and medical facilities across the United States. , General Manager Robert Bean ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... and hematology continuing medical education (CME), today announced that the first annual School ... New York. , “The prevention, detection and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers are undergoing ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... , ... Dr. Paul Vitenas, one of the top cosmetic surgeons in ... as the Best Single Physician Practice in the nation. Dr. Vitenas and his practice ... by the industry publication. , Dr. Vitenas said he was very honored to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 01, 2015 ... the "Veterinary Equipment and Disposables Market by ... report to their offering. --> ... "Veterinary Equipment and Disposables Market by product, ... report to their offering. --> Research ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR ), ... today announced that it has reached its enrollment target ... 3 clinical trial of aldoxorubicin in patients with previously ... be completed in Q1 2016. The Phase 3 trial is ... Protocol Assessment from the FDA at 79 sites in ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  InCarda Therapeutics, Inc. (InCarda), ... commercialization of therapies for cardiovascular conditions via the inhalation ... business in Australia . InCarda is ... Australia in the first half ... and medical centers in Adelaide ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: