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Could Immunotherapy Be Used to Tackle Antibiotic Resistance?


Lauri A. Hicks, DO, Director, Office of Antibiotic Stewardship, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discusses the use of immunotherapy in tackling antibiotic resistance.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability):
“I think this is an exciting area for potential research. There is new and emerging information about the potential for immunotherapy to protect us from infections and lower the need for antibiotics. I think there are a number of ways that we need to tackle this problem [of antibiotic resistance]. One, we need to look into new and innovative approaches [for] protecting ourselves from infections, whether it is [with] immunotherapy or new vaccines. We really need to look at whether diagnostics can be helpful in better determining whether or not a patient needs an antibiotic. There are lots of new diagnostics coming to market that will help us better determine whether an antibiotic is needed or not, and so, that’s absolutely going to remain important and critical. Certainly, antibiotic stewardship and treating antibiotics with care is another important approach, [as well].
The last piece I want to mention is that we do still have to focus on prevention of the transmission of infections. Infection prevention [such as hand washing]—whether we are talking about hand washing in a hospital or hand washing in a community clinic—is still going to be very important among the other many infection prevention opportunities and interventions out there.”
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