Antibiotics are one of our most powerful tools for fighting life-threatening infections and their discovery has transformed human and animal health. However, antibiotic resistance (the ability of germs to defeat the drugs designed to kill them) is one of the greatest global public health challenges of our time.
Bacteria and fungi do not have to be resistant to every antibiotic to be dangerous. Resistance to even one antibiotic can mean serious problems. Antibiotic-resistant infections that require the use of second and third-line treatments harm patients and prolong care and recovery, sometimes for months. Healthcare providers may need to treat these infections with antibiotics that have serious side effects, such as organ failure.
The rise of antimicrobial resistance in uropathogens has complicated the management of urinary tract infections (UTIs), particularly in patients who are afflicted by recurrent episodes of UTIs.
UTIs are highly prevalent, account for large numbers of outpatient and emergency department consultations and are the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. Approximately 25% of all antibiotic prescriptions are for UTIs.
Antimicrobial resistance is now one of the most substantial threats to patient safety worldwide. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has estimated that antimicrobial resistance costs the European Union $1.5 billion in health-care expenses and lost productivity each year, and infection with antimicrobial-resistant bacteria can lead to more severe infections, longer hospital stays and increased mortality.
Reference: Sihra, Néha, et al. "Nonantibiotic prevention and management of recurrent urinary tract infection." Nature Reviews Urology 15.12 (2018).