Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The 18 Most Dangerous Pathogens!

In the CDC's report Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013, the following 18 superbugs are identified as "urgent, serious and concerning threats" to humankind. (CDC Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the US, 2013):
  1. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE): A family of Gram-negative bacteria that are prominent in your gut growing increasingly resistant to nearly all types of antibiotics. 
  2. Drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae: The sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea is becoming increasingly resistant to the last type of antibiotics left to treat it, having already become resistant to less potent antibiotics. Strains of the disease that are resistant to the class of antibiotic drugs called cephalosporins have appeared in several countries. 
  3. Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter: Appeared in the US after Iraq and Afghanistan war vets returned home. Tough enough to survive even on dry surfaces like dust particles, making it easy to pass from host to host, especially in hospital environments.
  4. Drug-resistant Campylobacter: Campylobacter is the fourth leading cause of foodborne illness in the US. Campylobacter bacteria are unique in that they secrete an exotoxin that is similar to cholera toxin.  
  5. Fluconazole-resistant Candida (a fungus).   
  6. Extended spectrum beta-lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBLs): ESBLs are enzymes produced by certain types of bacteria, which renders the bacteria resistant to the antibiotics used to treat them. ESBL-producing E. coli, for example, are resistant to penicillins and cephalosporins, and are becoming more frequent in urinary tract infections.  
  7. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE): Increasingly common in hospital settings. 
  8. Multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Linked to serious bloodstream infections and surgical wounds, and  can lead to pneumonia and other complications; some are resistant to nearly every family of antibiotic. 
  9. Drug-resistant Non-typhoidal Salmonella and Salmonella Typhi. 
  10. Drug-resistant Shigella: An infectious disease, typically with diarrhea, caused by Shigella bacteria.  
  11. Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff): Can live in the gut without causing symptoms, but attacks when your immune system is weakened; C. Diff is on the rise—infections increased by 400 percent between 2000 and 2007—and is becoming increasingly antibiotic-resistant  (This is the infection that fecal transplants are typically used for. It has a greater than 90 percent cure rate for this infection.).  
  12. Methicillin-resistant and Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA and VRSA): Gram-positive bacteria infecting about 80,000 people each year, and can lead to sepsis and death. Increasing in communities, although decreasing in hospitals over the past decade; recent evidence points to factory-scale hog CAFOs as a primary source; MRSA is also a significant risk for your pets.
  13. Drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae: A leading cause of pneumonia, bacteremia, sinusitis, and acute otitis media.  
  14. Drug-resistant tuberculosis: Extensively resistant TB (XDR TB) has a 40 percent mortality rate and is on the rise worldwide; tuberculosis is one of the most infectious diseases because it's so easily spread through the air when infected people cough or sneeze. 
  15. Erythromycin-resistant Group A and Clindamycin-resistant Group B Streptococcus.

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