Rapid Communication - Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology (2023) Volume 7, Issue 5
Antibiotic resistance and nosocomial infections: A growing healthcare challenge
Department of Infectious disease, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama
- *Corresponding Author:
- Josie Lozia
Department of Infectious disease
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Panama City, Panama
Received:25-Aug-2023,Manuscript No. AAJIDMM-23-112510; Editor assigned: 28-Aug-2023, PreQC No. AAJIDMM-23-112510(PQ); Reviewed:11-Sept-2023, QC No. AAJIDMM-23-112510; Revised:16-Sept-2023, Manuscript No. AAJIDMM-23-112510(R); Published:22-Sept-2023, DOI: 10.35841/aapmt- 7.5.162
Citation: Lozia J. Antibiotic resistance and nosocomial infections: A growing healthcare challenge. J Infect Dis Med Microbiol. 2023;7(5):162
Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms develop the ability to resist the effects of antibiotics, which are drugs used to treat bacterial infections. This resistance arises due to various factors, including overuse and misuse of antibiotics, incomplete treatment courses, and the natural ability of microorganisms to adapt and evolve.
Nosocomial infections, also known as Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) or hospital-acquired infections are infections that occur in patients while they are receiving medical treatment in a healthcare facility. In the world of modern medicine, antibiotics have been a game-changer, revolutionizing our ability to combat bacterial infections and save countless lives. However, a looming crisis threatens the effectiveness of these lifesaving drugs - antibiotic resistance. Nowhere is this challenge more evident than in the realm of nosocomial infections, also known as Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs).
The interaction between patients and a diverse array of microbes, parasites, fungi, and bacteria within hospital environments can significantly contribute to the emergence of Nosocomial Infections (NIs). This, in turn, has far-reaching implications for patients, their families, and the broader community. In this context, NIs are associated with several detrimental outcomes, including prolonged hospital stays, heightened morbidity rates, and increased mortality rates. These consequences not only place an immense burden on healthcare systems but also exacerbate resource constraints, especially in developing nations. This article will explore the pivotal role of healthcare professionals, particularly nurses, who are most frequently exposed to NI pathogens due to their involvement in critical patient care tasks such as dressing, medication administration, sterilization, and disinfection processes.
Nosocomial infections are those acquired during a patient's stay in a healthcare facility, such as a hospital or long-term care facility. These infections can range from urinary tract infections to surgical site infections, pneumonia, and bloodstream infections. They pose a significant threat to patient safety and often lead to extended hospital stays, increased healthcare costs, and, tragically, higher mortality rates .
One of the major contributing factors to the emergence and spread of nosocomial infections is the overuse and misuse of antibiotics within healthcare settings. When antibiotics are prescribed unnecessarily or used inappropriately, the bacteria they target can develop resistance mechanisms. This means that the drugs are no longer effective in killing these resistant bacteria. Limited Treatment Options: As bacteria become resistant to more antibiotics, healthcare providers have fewer effective treatment options for patients with nosocomial infections. This can lead to prolonged illness, complications, and even treatment failure. Increased Morbidity and Mortality: Antibiotic-resistant nosocomial infections are associated with higher morbidity and mortality rates. Patients with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, young children, and those with chronic illnesses, are particularly vulnerable.
Extended Hospital Stays: Patients with nosocomial infections often require longer hospital stays for treatment, increasing the burden on healthcare facilities and healthcare costs for both patients and institutions. Resistant bacteria can spread easily within healthcare settings, putting other patients at risk. This can lead to outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections that are challenging to control. Addressing the issue of antibiotic resistance in nosocomial infections requires a multi-faceted approach. Healthcare facilities must implement antibiotic stewardship programs to ensure appropriate antibiotic use, prescribing the right drug for the right infection, and for the right duration. Stringent infection control measures, including hand hygiene, isolation precautions, and environmental cleaning, are vital to preventing the spread of resistant bacteria. Healthcare facilities should actively monitor and report antibiotic-resistant infections to public health agencies for tracking and response. Investing in research to develop new antibiotics and alternative treatment options is crucial to combat antibiotic resistance[4,5].
The intertwining challenges of antibiotic resistance and nosocomial infections demand urgent attention. The responsible use of antibiotics, coupled with robust infection control measures and ongoing research, is our best defense against the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria within healthcare facilities. Protecting the efficacy of antibiotics is not just a medical imperative but a critical public health mission.
- Mermel LA.Eye protection for preventing transmission of respiratory viral infections to healthcare workers.Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 201;39(11):1387.
- Zaragoza R, Vidal-Cortés P, Aguilar G, et al.Update of the treatment of nosocomial pneumonia in the ICU.Critical Care. 2020;(1):1-3.
- Di Pasquale M, Aliberti S, Mantero M, et al.Non-intensive care unit acquired pneumonia: a new clinical entity?Int J Mol Sci. 2016;17(3):287.
- Micek ST, Chew B, Hampton N, et al.A case-control study assessing the impact of nonventilated hospital-acquired pneumonia on patient outcomes.Chest. 2016;150(5):1008-14.
- Baier C, Linke L, Eder M, et al.Incidence, risk factors and healthcare costs of central line-associated nosocomial bloodstream infections in hematologic and oncologic patients.PloS one. 2020;15(1):e0227772.