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What is Currently the Biggest Threat in Regards to Antimicrobial Stewardship?

Jason C. Gallagher, Pharm.D., FCCP, FIDSA, BCPS, President, Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists, in light of the recent antibiotic resistant superbug, tells Contagion what keeps him up at night.

Jason C. Gallagher, Pharm.D., FCCP, FIDSA, BCPS, President, Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists, in light of the recent antibiotic resistant superbug, tells Contagion what keeps him up at night.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“In terms of what keeps me up at night, it’s the sort of converging crises of a lack of antibiotic development and the increase of antimicrobial resistance. This recently reported case of colistin-resistant [Escherichia] coli is novel in one way but it is not novel in others in that we have bacteria related to E. coli that are already extensively drug-resistant, and those are increasing. The percentage of Klebsiella, for example, that are resistant to carbapenems just keeps going up in this country, and is even worse in some other parts of the world. Those are spreading, and they’re going to spread here as well.

As antibiotic resistance goes up, antibiotic development needs to follow. We’ve gotten a little bit better in the past couple of years; I think the [US Food and Drug Administration] has done a good job of incentivizing antibiotic research more, but we need more of the larger pharmaceutical companies to want to get back into the market to develop more antibiotics. Even those that are being developed now are largely just variance of a theme of the types of antibiotics that we have already.”