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Medical News & Perspectives |

Report Reveals Scope of US Antibiotic Resistance Threat

Tracy Hampton, PhD
JAMA. 2013;310(16):1661-1663. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280695.
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The growing threat of antibiotic resistance is well known to US clinicians, but until now, the true scope of the problem has been unclear. A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides some clarity, noting that every year, more than 2 million people in the United States become infected with organisms that are resistant to antibiotics, leading to considerable disability, death, and economic cost.

Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013, presents the first snapshot of dangers posed by antibiotic-resistant organisms in the United States, categorizing these hazards as urgent, serious, or concerning (http://1.usa.gov/19xkGB3).

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Every year, more than 2 million people in the United States become infected with organisms that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23 000 die of such infections.

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Bacteria have invariably developed resistance to antibiotics after the drugs became available. (Penicillin was in limited use before it was widely available beginning in 1943.) Some pathogens have become resistant to multiple classes of bacteria, sparking concerns about reduced treatment options.

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