July 13, 2022

CDC: COVID-19 reverses progress in fight against superbugs

Editor's Note

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a surge in antimicrobial resistance in US hospitals, reversing years of progress, according to a new analysis released July 12 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During the first year of the pandemic, antimicrobial-resistant infections and deaths increased in hospitals at least 15%.

Increases in specific pathogens included:

  • carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter, 78% increase
  • multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 32% increase
  • vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), 14% increase
  • methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), 13% increase.

Antifungal-resistant microorganisms also increased, including Candida auris at 60% and Candida species at 26%.

During the first year of the pandemic, more than 29,400 patients died from antimicrobial-resistant infections associated with healthcare. Of these, some 40% got the infection while in the hospital.

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