Should your health organization worry about the relentless advance of drug-resistant bacteria?

Written by Staff Writer Andy Dawson is the Clinical Lead for Communications at the World Health Organization (WHO) and lead of its School of Infectious Diseases. Covidien, the Minneapolis, US-based maker of medical devices…

Should your health organization worry about the relentless advance of drug-resistant bacteria?

Written by Staff Writer

Andy Dawson is the Clinical Lead for Communications at the World Health Organization (WHO) and lead of its School of Infectious Diseases.

Covidien, the Minneapolis, US-based maker of medical devices such as compression heart pumps and the LifeVest, a device used to keep obese people alive until they can be helped by a medical team, needs an overhaul.

That was shown by the FDA in the US, on Thursday. After an investigation, the agency found flaws in its manufacturing processes and suspended one of its manufacturing facilities for six months.

Covidien, a highly regarded company, is one of many multinational firms in the US that have made a significant move away from basic research into new therapies, to focus on a strategy of acquiring firms and technologies that lead to new products.

I am right now in Vienna, Austria, where in a recent Department of Trade and Development meeting, British ambassador Paul Arkwright spoke about his country’s Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in Davos in January, where she argued that in order to truly tackle climate change and reduce inequalities, investment in new technologies would be required.

Decades of investment has been made in materials science and artificial intelligence, for example, but from an organization’s perspective, it is all very well to establish a foundation, but for it to generate results it requires the right back-up.

This research is clearly still needed, as the Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) bacterium continues to carry out an increasing number of successful attacks on different healthcare systems around the world.

Worldwide, nearly 50% of people contract the bacterium during their lifetime, but less than 10% of infections prove resistant to antibiotics which is the common trend in this disease.

Inflammation is the mechanism by which Staph bacteria gain the capability to thrive in the mouth, throat, nose and lungs. Stepping onto the toilet again after using the toilet, touching surfaces that haven’t been cleaned thoroughly, washing hands or eating raw food are some of the ways the infectious agents act on the body.

In the case of infections, particularly in the gut, the GUT (glucose regulating system) is compromised making bacteria very resistant to medication, and no antibiotics really work.

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