CDC: With "Nightmare Bacteria" on the Rise, Labs Vital to Containment

By on 10:45 AM

In a recent report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted the critical role labs and laboratory professionals play in protecting the population from antibiotic resistance (AR).

Laboratorians, CDC notes, play a key role in finding "unusual" AR before it becomes common. This helps response teams investigate in an effort to stop spread and protect people from difficult-to-treat infections. More than 23,000 Americans die annually from infections caused by antibiotic-resistant germs.

A recent CDC Vital Signs report highlights the importance of rapid detection by laboratorians, the critical first step in containing novel or targeted multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs).

Within this report is data from the CDC's AR Lab Network, a resource established in 2016 designed to help identify and characterize resistance in threats like "nightmare bacteria" carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), emerging fungal threats like Candida auris and other pathogens.

The AR Lab Network helped uncover unusual resistance genes in nightmare bacteria more than 220 times in 2017.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.