The discovery of antibiotics changed medicine for good. Antibiotics are essential in treating a wide range of bacterial infections, such as sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia. They also play a vital role in preventing infection during surgery and life-threatening opportunistic infections in patients under immunosuppressants or those receiving chemotherapy.
However, with a worldwide increase in antibiotic use, bacteria are adapting more, and the rate of anti-antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is increasing. Common infections are becoming untreatable, and globally more than 700,000 people die of antimicrobial-resistant infections every year. If current trends continue, AMR could result in over 10 million deaths per year in 2050. To make matters worse, the rise and spread of AMR is creating new infections that resist existing drugs. AMR is a global issue, and the right use of antibiotics is a priority for the WHO.
A tertiary health center audit in Lagos state found that more than 50% of antimicrobial agents prescribed to hospital patients were inappropriate, and accurate microbiological testing was lacking. The consequences of leaving AMR unchecked are far-reaching and costly, not only financially but also in terms of global health, food sustainability, and security. If we are to control the spread of AMR and improve the effectiveness of patient treatment, urgent action is required.
Presently, Antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) is the most effective method of choosing the best fit solution for infection treatment. However, with AST results frequently unavailable to physicians until two days after, clinicians often prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics to act quickly. They make a second prescription when the AST results are available. In essence, patients frequently take an inappropriate drug, which delays correct treatment and gives room for microbes to evolve.
What if AST results were available within 12 hours or within the duration of an outpatient visit?
Clinicians could prescribe the right antibiotic the first time the patient presents at a healthcare facility. In outpatient settings, it would be possible to reduce the misuse of antibiotics and the spread of AMR. In emergency settings, Clinicians could dramatically improve survival rates for life-threatening conditions like sepsis. Access to fast and robust AST diagnostics would lead to substantial savings via reduced admission period and increased patient healthcare overall.
At ISN medical, we devote ourselves to providing solutions that bridge the current gaps in healthcare. We partner with BD to provide integrated and trusted microbiology solutions, from positive blood culture to identification and susceptibility testing and result reporting. The BD Phoenix M50 provides clinicians with accurate and timely identification and susceptibility results to help guide their therapy and patient management decisions.
• Carlet J, Collignon P, Goldmann D, Goossens H, Gyssens IC, Harbarth S, et al. Society’s failure to protect a precious resource: antibiotics. Lancet. 2011;378:369–371. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60401-7
• Africa Center for Disease Control. Africa CDC framework for antimicrobial resistance, 2018-2023. 2018.
• Ogundele SO, Ogunleye OO, Mutiu B, Akodu SO. Audit of the use of antimicrobial agents at a tertiary health Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. J Public Health Epidemiol. 2015;7(8):263–7.