Study finds low rate of bacterial, fungal co-infections in US COVID patients
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
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
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