Slowing Antibiotic Resistance
Economically speaking, antibiotic resistant bacteria are expensive. For example, treating a patient with tuberculosis may cost up to $12,000, but for a multi-drug resistant strain, the cost increases to $180,000. In fact, the Center for Science in the Public Interest estimates the annual cost of treating antibiotic resistance may be as high as $30 billion.
In addition to the rising costs, drug-resistant strains of bacteria also pose serious threats to the effective treatment of dangerous pathogens like MRSA, Staph, E. coli, Group B Strep and many others. From the hospital to the animal feed lot, the high general and untargeted use of antibiotics is leading to stronger, more pervasive strains of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and increasing demands for faster, less expensive technology for testing.
In many cases, the use of antibiotics has become a necessity. Because conventional testing methods such as Petri cultures often delay definitive diagnosis for several days, many physicians are forced to treat empirically with broad-spectrum antibiotics until test results can advise a more targeted protocol. For livestock operations, long wait-times for test results prompt producers to add antibiotics to animal feed, ensuring the yet-to-be-detected pathogen does not transfer to other animals at the facility. These and other preemptive treatments do assist in the protection against bacterial pathogens, however they also embolden strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, making them even more difficult to eradicate.
Experts say that to slow antibiotic resistance, clinical and veterinary medicine, as well as agriculture operations need to embrace changes to the current status quo. A step in the right direction is utilizing technology that offers significantly faster live-cell results. Such technology, like the advances made by NanoLogix, allows physicians and livestock producers the flexibility to administer broad-spectrum antibiotics immediately and the choice to wait a few short hours for test results to suggest a more targeted protocol. By providing this option, NanoLogix supports the ability to preserve the effectiveness of current antibiotics and other antimicrobials and ultimately, to slow trends in antibiotic resistance.