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Health Matters: The challenges of antibiotic-resistant infections

Health Matters podcast MUHC foundation Dream Big Posts

This week on Health Matters, how significant is the challenge of antibiotic-resistant infections? Dr. Dao Nguyen discusses how researchers are working to identify and prevent these dangerous and sometimes deadly infections.

(Time on Podcast: 1:00) Antibiotic resistance means a mechanism that a bacteria or microbe develops to withstand an antibiotic. This in essence renders our drugs ineffective. The United Nations estimates that antimicrobial resistant infections may soon be the leading cause of death globally by 2050. To put this in perspective, even if we look at now, antibiotic resistant infections are already a major problem. In Canada, 1/4 of our infections are already resistant to common antibiotics. To solve this, we have to have innovative solutions to fight this: new alternatives to antibiotics, new antibiotics, better diagnostics, better tracking where resistance happens, how to prevent the mergence of resistance, better policy and governance on how to use antibiotics better to prevent overuse. This is a multidisciplinary problem that requires a multidisciplinary solution.

One project that is ongoing and recently funded by MI4 is developing a new technology and device that allows to test whether bacteria are resistant to an antibiotic or not. The goal is to develop this technology into a diagnostic test that is easily accessible and reliable to use in a clinical setting. The test would yield results in a few hours, rather than days. Furthermore, the test would be inexpensive to run and not require fancy equipment to interpret the results. Listen to the podcast to learn more about this new technology and why infections actually become resistant to antibiotics.

In the intensive care unit (ICU), infections are among the most common complications these patients face. As these patients are vulnerable, drug resistance is a concern. At the MUHC, infection control is actually very good. However, there are many centers in North America and across the world where ICUs are the hotspots for multi-drug resistant infections. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are more aware as a population of the impact microbes, bacteria, and viruses can have on us.

Listen: May 29, 2022 Podcast

Finding new and innovative solutions for antimicrobial resistance. The MUHC Foundation’s Health Matters. May 29, 2022.