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New paper calls for strong steps to tackle antibiotic resistance
Date:12/8/2011

Shahriar Mobashery, a University of Notre Dame researcher, is one of the coauthors of a new paper by a group of the world's leading scientists in academia and industry that calls for strong steps to be taken to control the global crisis of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. The group issued a priority list of steps that need to be taken on a global scale to resolve the crisis.

The paper is an outgrowth of a meeting the group held at the Banbury Conference Centre in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., to discuss the crisis and it appears in the journal Nature Reviews Microbiology.

The group notes that in Europe in 2007, the number of infections by multidrug-resistant bacteria was 400,000 and there were 25,000 attributable deaths.

In the United States alone, antibiotic-resistant infections are responsible for $20 billion per year in excess health care costs, $35 billion per year in societal costs and 8 million additional hospital stays per year.

The problem of resistance is compounded by the fact that we live in a global economy, resulting in a worldwide spread of antibiotic-resistant genes.

The Banbury group recommends that research priorities be established to control resistance.

They point out that additional basic information about resistance is required to address the crisis.

"Increasing lines of evidence identify the principal reservoirs of resistance genes to be bacteria that live in and on humans and animals, as well as those found in the environment (in soil, water and so on)," the paper notes. "However, there is insufficient information about the conditions and factors that lead to the mobilization, selection and movement of these bacteria into and between animal and human populations."

The report also calls for increased international funding to enable scientists to track new antibiotic-resistance threats worldwide, in a manner similar to how the World Health Organization and other agencie
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Contact: Shahriar Mobashery
mobashery@nd.edu
574-631-2933
University of Notre Dame
Source:Eurekalert

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