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Resistant Bacteria Rising Rapidly

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A national study published by the federal Department of Health has confirmed that antibiotic-resistant strains of disease-causing bacteria are steadily on the rise in Australia.

“Emerging resistance in common pathogens is a worldwide phenomenon, and this is a significant issue for healthcare practitioners and their patients,” says the lead author of the report, Prof John Turnidge of the University of Adelaide.

“Compared with many other countries in our region, antibiotic resistance rates in Australia are still relatively low. However, there are some worrying trends in the latest data which, for example, show a doubling of resistance among E. coli against some important reserve antibiotics.

“Importantly, this study looked at samples from patients who were not hospitalised, so these are rates of antibiotic resistance out there in the general Australian population,” Turnidge says.

Samples were collected at 29 health centres around Australia in 2012 from non-hospitalised patients with urinary infections. The study tested 2025 species of Escherichia coli (E. coli), 538 of Klebsiella and 239 of Enterobacter, and the results were compared with the previous community study in 2008.

Overall, multi-resistance to three classes of antibiotics was found in 7.6% of E. coli samples compared with 4.5% 4 years earlier, 5.1% of Klebsiella (compared with 4....

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.