The number of germs resistant to antibiotics is growing, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
The institute, which will have an article in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, found one in five of the 94,360 patients who developed an invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, infection in 2005 died. In addition, 20% of tuberculosis cases worldwide are drug-resistant, with 10% extensively drug-resistant, and in 2002 14% of certain bloodstream infections were resistant to antibiotics, up from 4% in 1993, the institute said in its report.
The national institute spends more than $800 million per year on antimicrobial clinical research, through which it hopes to understand the causes of drug resistance and develop specific diagnostic tests for infections that are likely to become resistant. -- by Jean DerGurahian