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Can the same bacteria be resistant to several antibiotics?

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have created terminology for drug resistant bacteria: multidrug-resistant (MDR), extensively drug-resistant (XDR), and pandrug-resistant (Pathog, et al., 2016). Multidrug-resistant was defined as “acquired nonsusceptibility to at least one agent in three or more antimicrobial categories”. Extensively-drug resistant was defined as “nonsusceptibility to at least one agent in all but two or fewer antimicrobial categories” (i.e. bacterial isolates remain susceptible to only one or two antimicrobial categories). Pandrug-resistant was defined as “nonsusceptibility to all agents in all antimicrobial categories” (Pathog, et al., 2016).

Recently, cases of multidrug-resistant organisms have exploded in number globally; AMR is a grave threat to how we treat infections and will increase the morbidity and mortality of these diseases. For the patient, AMR will also lead to longer stays in the hospital as well as higher costs for healthcare. In the same vein, AMR is expected to cause enormous economic loss to governments in both increased health costs and loss of productivity (Pathog, et al., 2016).

Hospitals themselves have paradoxically become a breeding ground for resistant microbes; Klebsiella pneumoniae, E. coli, and Proteus sp., for example, can develop resistance quickly and spread like wildfire throughout a hospital (Pathog, et al., 2016).