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Drug - resistant microbes raise concerns

healthy individual wouldn't otherwise acquire.

So it's the hospital setting, and the fact that multi-drug resistance genes can get in at presumably such a high frequency, I think, is the... you know, one of the main causes of concern."

SIMON LAUDER: "So does this answer the mystery somewhat, as to where the resistance is coming from - in hospitals?"

HATCH STOKES: "Well, not entirely. I think the problem of multi-drug resistance in hospitals is a relatively complex one, but it is certainly the case that the fact that humans, when they go into hospital, are carrying multi-drug resistant genes with them - in a sense, the resistance genes are kind of walking into the hospital with their patient - is one other aspect of the puzzle that I guess clinicians and people who are concerned about infection control in hospitals need to be aware of ".

SIMON LAUDER: "Professor John Tapsall is a member of the Expert Advisory Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, which advises the Commonwealth on what action to take.He says that, the finding that the vast majority of people carry resistant bugs is a major concern."

JOHN TAPSALL: "We really do have to redouble our efforts and have a concerted and integrated approach to the control of these organisms."

SIMON LAUDER: "While the bugs keep adapting to overcome the drugs that kill them, Professor Tapsall says Australia's health ministers seem to have lost interest."

JOHN TAPSALL: "It's very hard to get this onto the Commonwealth agenda or the states' agendas, although there have been desultory attempts at doing it.I think it's fair to say that the issue got quite a kick-along for a few years, but it's languished in the last couple of years."

SIMON LAUDER: "Professor Ruth Hall will present her findings to the annual conference of the Australian Society for Microbiology next month, where she'll also be honoured for her contribution to the field."


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