15 July 2015 Volume :3 Issue :33

Preventing the Spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae

Preventing the Spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae
Professor Prashini Moodley.

An article by UKZN Professor, Prashini Moodley, examining the impact of a "search and destroy strategy in preventing the spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae" has been published in the Current Infectious Disease Reports Journal.

Carbapenems are a class of beta-lactam antibiotics which has broad-spectrum antibacterial activity, being active against many aerobic and anaerobic gram-positive and gram-negative organisms.

Moodley, who is head of UKZN’s Infection Prevention and Control division, said: ‘There are ever increasing reports where the causative agents of serious infections are multi-drug resistant and in some cases resistant to all known antibiotics. Microbes with this susceptibility profile are commonly associated with nosocomial infections and implicated in outbreaks.  ’

She said the emergence and spread of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae had heightened awareness regarding antibiotic stewardship programmess and infection prevention and control measures.

This followed much controversy regarding the utility of the ‘search and destroy’ strategy to prevent the spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae – a family of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that includes both normal and pathogenic enteric microorganisms.

‘Antibiotic drug discovery has not kept pace with the development of microbial resistance to these agents,’ said Moodley.

Her article, titled: "The Pros, Cons, and Unknowns of Search and Destroy for Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae", highlighted the controversies of the classical search and destroy strategy to prevent spread of infection, and underscore the role of infection prevention and control. 

‘It is, however, clear that a functional infection prevention and control programme is fundamental to any strategy that serves to address the spread of microbes within a healthcare facility.’

Moodley’s research interests include mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis.

Lunga Memela

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