Global Infection Prevention: A Strategy to Minimize Antibiotic Resistance

Professor and Former Chair, Department of Internal Medicine Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, United States


Infection control throughout the world operates in an increasingly crowded planet challenged by poverty, hunger, malnutrition, and limited expertise globally to improve health in many communities, clinics, and hospitals. Rising rates of human, animal, and cargo traffic across international boundaries have increased opportunities for international transmission of pathogens. Often such pathogens are not responsive (i.e., resistant) to available antibiotics. Patients with these emerging infections initially seek help in clinics and hospitals. Therefore, early recognition and containment are strategies to prevent transmission to health care workers and other patients and thus society at large. Furthermore, with increasing rates of antibiotic-resistant microbes, clinicians have a shrinking repertoire of useful drugs for prevention and treatment. Currently, however, the era of alarming antibiotic resistance is challenged by fewer pharmaceutical companies investing in anti-infective discovery.