Finding that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted best antibiotic practices, the CDC announced further efforts to curb treatment-resistant infections.
Finding that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted best antibiotic practices and efforts to reduce antimicrobial-resistant infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced plans to strengthen antibiotic stewardship and infection prevention programs against future healthcare disruptions, in their 2022 Special Report, COVID-19 US Impact on Antimicrobial Resistance.
"As the pandemic pushed healthcare facilities, departments and communities near their breaking points in 2020, we saw a significant increase in antimicrobial use, difficulty in following infection prevention and control guidance, and a resulting increase in healthcare-associated, antimicrobial-resistant infections in US Hospitals," Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, CDC director, wrote in her forward to the report.
In response, the CDC is exploring investments in the US infrastructure that could help improve the resilience and effectiveness of these systems, including:
Increased investments are also anticipated in healthcare training and education; with new initiatives, and expansion of programs like the CDC's Project Firstline, which was developed at the start of the pandemic to help meet infection control education needs of the diverse healthcare workforce.
"It is essential to train anyone working in a healthcare on infection prevention and control and to maintain thee practices to protect themselves, their coworkers and their patients," The CDC report states.
Additional investments are expected to extend to state and local health departments, as part of the CDC's CARB (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria) National Action Plan. The report also indicates plans for continued/increased funding for antimicrobial resistance (AR) training and testing programs, such as the AR Solutions Initiative and the AR Lab Network, which were also utilized against the pandemic and for SARS-CoV-2 testing.
In the press release announcing the new report, Denise Cardo, MD, director of CDC's Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, emphasized the importance of expanding on effective prevention strategies already underway.
"The 2021 launch of the Global AR Lab and Response Network and the Global Action in Health Network is an example of how aggressively CDC is moving to combat antimicrobial resistance not only in the US, but in nearly 50 countries across the world.We made significant progress before the pandemic, and I'm confident that we will make significant progress going forward," Cardo said.
Additional measures that are anticipated in the report include: