Antibiotic resistant bacteria are making it harder for hospitals to treat kidney infections

Researchers have known antibiotic resistance would make infection prevention more difficult over time, but some are already finding major hindrances to treatment due to aggressive strains of superbug bacteria. A group from the University of California, Los Angeles is investigating how treatment options for a common but potentially severe type of kidney infection caused by E. coli are becoming increasingly limited.

"This is a very real example of the threat posed by the emergence of new antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, which greatly complicates treatment of infection," David Talan, MD, lead author of the study and UCLA school of medicine professor, said in a statement. About half of patients affected with the kidney infection pyelonephritis, which can be fatal, are hospitalized.

They found across 10 hospital emergency departments, nearly 12 percent of patients with contracted kidney infections didn't respond to antibiotics. That's up four percent from a similar study conducted about ten years ago, according to the researchers. Few intravenous antibiotic treatment options remain for these strains of bug, and no oral antibiotics are reliably effective.

Their recommendations mirror those commonly suggested to help control the spread of resistance bacteria, including that physicians should pay attention to rates of resistance in their treatment areas by testing bacteria samples, and new drugs should be developed.

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