If you haven’t heard, there’s a new antibiotic resistance gene, NDM-1, which stands for New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1. This gene has been found in Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae (E. coli and Klebsiella), and confers resistance to every penicillin derivative. Like the KPC genes, this gene is found on miniature chromosomes that also carry other resistance genes, making this organism resistant to just about everything we can throw at it.
All those “R”s mean that drug doesn’t work. Other than colistin, to which bacteria can rapidly evolve resistance, we really don’t have anything else to treat this with.
And colistin is so old, we’re flying by the seat of our pants in terms of appropriate dosage.
It would be nice if we had a national electronic antibiotic resistance surveillance system, so we could track these bugs. This would require additional public health funding. With five percent budget cuts in the best case scenario, I’m not sure where the money for that comes from though.
I am certain, however, that this problem can be solved with a tax cut to the wealthiest Americans. Or something.