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Weekly Digest: Global strategy to drastically reduce antibiotic use in farm animals; New CDC grant to support innovative modelling research on HAIs

Weekly Digest: Global strategy to drastically reduce antibiotic use in farm animals; New CDC grant to support innovative modelling research on HAIs

A weekly roundup of news on drug resistance and other topics in global health.

Global strategy to drastically reduce antibiotic use in farm animals: A study by CDDEP researchers and research collaborators in Science highlights the potential impact of three global interventions to reduce antibiotic consumption in food animal production. Globally, 130,000 tons of antibiotics were used in food animals in 2013 and this is projected to increase up to 200,000 tons in 2030. A combination of a global user fee policy, strong regulations on veterinary antimicrobial use, and limiting the global meat intake can reduce the consumption of antibiotics in food animals by up to 80 percent worldwide. [Science, TIME, Mother Jones, Bloomberg]

New CDC grant to support innovative modelling research on HAIs. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), including multidrug resistant infections, have been linked to high mortality rates and have become a significant public health threat. New grants totalling $10 million from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to five institutions (including CDDEP) will support research to investigate factors that drive the spread of HAIs in hospitals and the community that can help in developing evidence-based prevention strategies. [CDC Announcement]

High levels of colistin-resistant MCR-1 gene in China. A study in Eurosurveillance reports high levels of MCR-1 gene carrying Escherichia coli (E. coli) in environmental samples in China. The researchers found the highly drug-resistant gene in 36 percent of food products and 71 percent of water samples. The gene was also present in samples in more than half of farm animals and nearly a third of humans who were tested. [Eurosurveillance, CIDRAP]

New report ranks US restaurants on antibiotic use in meat. Over half of the largest restaurant chains in the US have made progress in efforts to eliminate antibiotics from their meat supply, according to the latest Chain Reaction report. These restaurants now have policies to buy antibiotic-free meat and limit the use of medically important antibiotics. These policies primarily target poultry meat and a more comprehensive ban on antibiotic use in food animals may be required. [CHAIN REACTION III, CIDRAP]

Report highlights progress in tackling AMR globally. A year since the United Nations (UN) General Assembly committed to tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) globally, a 151-country survey shows that while 52 percent countries now have a comprehensive plan to tackle AMR across human, animal, and environmental sectors, only five percent have implemented the multisectoral plans. Just seven percent of low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) have established national AMR surveillance in food and animals. [Sustaining global action on antimicrobial resistance report, CIDRAP]

Antibiotic use in post-caesarean women may reduce risk of infection. A study in JAMA finds that antibiotic use in post caesarean obese women can cut the risk of infections by more than half. The researchers find that a postoperative 48-hour course of oral antibiotics such as cephalexin and metronidazole reduced the rate of infections within 30 days after delivery. The trial was conducted at a single site with a high prevalence of obese patients and more studies may be required to generalize the recommendation. [JAMA, Science Daily]

Study reports high mortality rates due to extensively drug resistant bug in NICU settings. Outbreaks of extensively drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii have been associated with a 58 percent mortality rate in neonatal care settings at a hospital in Turkey. Implementing long-term infection control measures gradually decreased the infection rates over a two-year period. The study has been reported in the American Journal of Infection Control. [American Journal of Infection Control]

New typhoid vaccine shows promise; halves infection rates. A new typhoid vaccine has been reported to be more than 50 percent efficacious in mid-stage trials, according to The Lancet. The study was conducted in 112 adults and who were randomly assigned the new vaccine or a previously existing vaccine. Results showed that the new vaccine was able to prevent infections in half the people who received it. [The Lancet]

New rotavirus vaccine is safe and efficacious: study. A new vaccine against rotavirus has been found to be safe and efficacious in Phase III trial on more than 7500 infants in India. The vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India has reported a nearly 40 percent efficacy in children under two years and a nearly 55% protection against the severe form of rotavirus. The findings have been reported in Vaccine. [Vaccine, The Hindu]

Mapping potential hot spots for Zika, other diseases in the US. A report published in the Journal of Medical Entomology finds that more than 70 percent counties in the United States have suitable climates for harboring Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The maps predict a higher possibility of disease outbreaks such as Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever in the eastern and western parts of the country. [Journal of Medical Entomology, Press release, CIDRAP]

At two million new cases, STDs hit an all-time high in the US. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported two million new cases sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhoea across the country in 2016. This is especially of concern as an increasing number of extensively drug resistant cases of gonorrhoea are being reported globally. The report finds that men who have sex with men (MSM) are the most vulnerable population and that an increasing number of babies are being born with syphilis, underlining the urgent need for preventive measures. [CDC report, Press release]

Image courtesy of Charles Brower