Our weekly wrap-up of antimicrobial stewardship & antimicrobial resistance scans
New guidelines aim to promote judicious antibiotic use in pets
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) yesterday released new joint recommendations for judicious antibiotic use in cats and dogs.
The guidelines, developed by an expert task force, urge companion animal veterinarians to commit to core principles of antimicrobial stewardship as defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association, emphasize preventive care and routine health monitoring, and work with animal owners to ensure that antibiotics are only used when necessary. When the decision is made to use antibiotics, veterinarians should strive to "optimize therapeutic efficacy, minimize resistance to antimicrobials, and protect public and animal health."
The guidelines also recommend that veterinarians teach pet owners about good animal care practices and hygiene, use therapeutic alternatives where appropriate, consider "watchful waiting" to observe whether a condition truly needs antibiotic therapy, and use diagnostic testing to determine whether an infection is bacterial and will be helped by antibiotics.
"This effort is critical to ensure we continue to have drugs that are effective against bacterial infections," Erin Frey, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, co-author and task force chair of the guidelines, said in an AAHA/AAFP press release. "Bacterial pathogens will always find ways to resist antibiotics, but overuse of antibiotics or using them when it’s not necessary expedites this process, ultimately leaving us with bacteria that are impervious to treatment."
Jul 7 AAHA/AAFP Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines
Jul 7 AAHA/AAFP press release
Report describes UK outbreak of extensively drug-resistant Shigella
Originally published by CIDRAP News Jul 7
A study yesterday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases describes an ongoing outbreak of sexually transmitted, extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Shigella sonnei in the United Kingdom.
The outbreak began in September 2021 with the identification of an infected patient in England, followed by anecdotal reports of patients hospitalized with severe S sonnei infections in London in November and December, which prompted an investigation led by researchers from the UK Health Security Agency.
Genomic surveillance identified the infections as belonging to S sonnei clade 5. Cases were subsequently reported in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Investigators with the Outbreak Control Team conducted whole-genome sequencing on patient isolates and collected demographic, epidemiologic, and clinical data from patients using questionnaires.
A total of 72 confirmed cases (70 of them in men, median age 34 years) were identified in the United Kingdom from Sep 1, 2021, to Feb 9, 2022. All cases were genotypically multidrug-resistant or XDR, exhibiting genotypic antimicrobial resistance determinants for aminoglycosides, sulfonamides, trimethoprim, fluoroquinolones, and macrolides. In addition, 66 of 72 isolates harbored blaCTX-M-27, a plasmid-mediated gene that confers resistance to ceftriaxone. Of the 33 patients with clinical data, 19 (58%) received antibiotics and 8 (24%) were hospitalized.
Of the 27 patients who filled out an outbreak questionnaire, 25 (93%) were HIV-negative, 21 (78%) were taking HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and 11 (41%) reported bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the past year that required antibiotics. Twenty-two (81%) reported engaging in one or more sequential oral and anal sexual acts in the week before symptom onset. Two of the patients were immunocompromised individuals whose infections were not associated with sexual transmission, which investigators say highlights the threat of wider transmission.
"Previous evidence has shown that sexually transmitted shigellosis can be transmitted sporadically outside sexual networks; enhanced surveillance for this outbreak provided further evidence of this," the investigators wrote. "Sporadic transmission outside sexual networks, leading to severe cases in immunocompromised individuals, highlights the wider public health risk of continued, uncontrolled transmission of XDR shigellosis."
The investigators added that improved surveillance and updated treatment guidelines for drug-resistant Shigella are needed, and suggested that public health messages about the prevention of shigellosis and other enteric STIs should be included in PrEP delivery.
Jul 26 Lancet Infect Dis study
Joint venture aims to develop targeted antibiotics
Originally published by CIDRAP News Jul 6
German biopharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingleheim, German life sciences company Evotec, and French diagnostics maker bioMérieux announced today they are joining forces to develop a "precision medicine" approach to fighting antibiotic-resistant infections.
The companies say their new joint venture, called Aurobac Therapeutics SAS, will focus on combining actionable diagnostics that rapidly identify pathogens and resistance patterns with next-generation antibiotics, supported by new economic models. The goal, they say, is to move away from empiric, unfocused use of broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat bacterial infections to a more targeted approach.
"The grim prospect of a post-antibiotic era has many causes but only one solution: The development of new, targeted, and effective antimicrobial therapies," Evotec CEO Werner Lanthaler said in a press release. "We are excited to launch Aurobac together with our partners at Boehringer Ingelheim and bioMérieux, to combine our complementary strengths."
The €40 million venture ($40.7 million USD) will be based in Lyons, France.
Jul 6 bioMérieux press release
Study finds low rate of bacterial, fungal co-infections in US COVID patients
Originally published by CIDRAP News Jul 5
A study of US hospital data found that fewer than 10% of COVID-19 patients had bacterial or fungal co-infections, but they had a higher risk of antibiotic-resistant, healthcare-associated infections than flu patients, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers reported late last week in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Using patient and microbiologic data from the Premier Healthcare Database, researchers analyzed 206,465 inpatients diagnosed with COVID-19 from January 2020 through June 2o21 and 142,246 patients diagnosed with influenza-like illness (ILI) from January through June 2019. The proportion of patients with a bacterial or fungal culture obtained during hospitalization was similar in both groups (56.2% for COVID-19 and 60.4% for ILI). The percentage of discharges with a positive culture defined as community-onset (CO) was lower in COVID-19 patients than those with ILI (7% vs 10.4%), but the percentage of discharges with a positive culture identified as HO was higher (4.1% vs 2.4%).
Multivariable logistic models showed that COVID-19 patients had significantly lower odds than ILI patients of CO methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA), or carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii infections, but significantly higher odds of HO MRSA, CRPA, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales, and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase infections. Further analysis suggests the increased risk of antibiotic-resistant infections for COVID-19 patients is linked to longer hospital stays, critical care stay, receipt of invasive mechanical ventilation, and high rates of antibiotic exposure.
"Hospitals should continue to focus on infection control and antibiotic stewardship measures for patients with COVID-19 to prevent healthcare-associated infections, including antibiotic resistant pathogens," the study authors concluded.
Jul 2 Clin Infect Dis abstract
UK announces more funding for antibiotic development
Originally published by CIDRAP News Jul 5
The government of the United Kingdom last week announced an investment of more than $5 million to support development of new treatments to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The investment of £4.5 million ($5.3 million USD) from the UK government's Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF) will help the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) develop antibiotics for drug-resistant infections that the World Health Organization has identified as the greatest threats to public health, including neonatal sepsis and hospital-acquired bacterial infections.
The funding, which brings the UK's total investment in GARDP to nearly £19 million ($22.6 million), will also support the development of zoliflodacin, a novel antibiotic for gonorrhea infections that GARDP is developing with Entasis Therapeutics.
"I am thrilled that the UK will be working in partnership with GARDP to deliver crucial research as part of GAMRIF's commitment to a One Health approach," Dame Sally Davies, UK Special Envoy on AMR, said in a press release from the UK's Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). "Together we are leading efforts to combat AMR where the burden of infection is greatest, and we will use this investment to develop new treatments for drug-resistant infections to protect the world's most vulnerable."
Jun 30 DHSC press release
EU members vote to prohibit certain antibiotics from veterinary use
Originally published by CIDRAP News Jul 5
European Union (EU) member states have formally given their support to a list of antibiotics that will be prohibited from being sold for veterinary use.
The list of antibiotic classes, subclasses, and substances to be reserved for humans only is based on recommendations provided to the European Commission in May by the European Medicines Agency, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the EU Food Safety Authority. Antibiotic classes on the list include carbapenems (eg, meropenem), cephalosporin/beta-lactam inhibitor combinations (ceftolozane-tazobactam), siderophore cephalosporins (cefiderocol), monobactams (aztreonam), carboxypenicillins (piperacillin), glycopeptides (vancomycin), lipopeptides (daptomycin), oxazolidinones (linezolid), and glycylcyclines (tigecycline).
EU member states voted on the list yesterday.
"The list voted today, the first of its kind in the EU, and a landmark worldwide, is a major step forward in our One-Health policy approach to curb antimicrobial resistance," Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said in a European Commission press release. "It is a prime example of how we address human, animal health and plant health together while at the same time also considering the importance of the environment."
The European Commission says it will formally adopt and publish the list in the coming weeks, and the ban will go into effect 6 months after publication.
Jul 4 European Commission press release