The Growing Burden of ABSSSI

Bruce Jones, PharmD, BCPS, discusses the growing burden of ABSSSI and why there have been an influx of MRSA cases.

Segment Description: Bruce Jones, PharmD, BCPS, clinical pharmacy specialist, infectious disease, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, discusses the growing burden of ABSSSI and why there have been an influx of MRSA cases.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“I think acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) is something we are all dealing with and the issue is with patients being hospitalized. We’re seeing greater than 3 million emergency department visits on a given year. Many of these patients are being treated as outpatients but more and more we’re seeing linear growth of how many are being treated as in-patients.

What we see with ABSSSI is mainly Gram-positive in nature; you know, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus. I think the big worry for us is Staphylococcus aureus, specifically methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); it’s becoming more and more difficult to treat. We’re seeing more issues with certain first-line antibiotics, so that’s probably our biggest issue we currently deal with right now, the MRSA-specific patients.

I think we’re seeing an increase [in ABSSSI cases], you know we can look to our local antibiogram, and we’re seeing more and more MRSA patients. We’re doing a better job at diagnosing them—I think that’s part of it—and we’re seeing a lot more recurrence as well. And so, as these become harder and harder to treat, it’s a bigger burden on us and health care systems.”