Public Release:  Antimicrobial resistance for common UTI drug increases five fold since 2000

George Washington University Medical Center

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (April 30, 2012) - In a surveillance study of over 12 million bacteria, investigators at The George Washington University and Providence Hospital found E. coli antimicrobial resistance to ciprofloxacin, the most commonly prescribed antimicrobial for urinary tract infections in the U.S., increased over five-fold from 2000 to 2010. In addition, nearly one in four isolates in 2010 were resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim®), the second most commonly prescribed drug for this infection. This research was published in the April edition of the journal, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

"Our study is important because it shows that E. coli resistance to two common drugs to treat UTIs rose substantially over the last decade. For patients, this will ultimately translate into more expensive and sometimes more complex antimicrobial treatments. What is more concerning however, is the lack of new antimicrobial drug development which has been declining for decades," said Guillermo Sanchez, a graduate student in the Physician Assistant program at the George Washington University and primary author of the study.

E. coli accounts for 75% to 95% of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and UTIs are among the most common infections in humans, with half of all women experiencing at least one in their lifetime. E. coli antimicrobial resistance is a major factor in determining health outcomes in patients with UTIs. E. coli antimicrobial resistance has been associated with lower likelihood of clinical cure and increased risk of infection recurrence. Additionally, antimicrobial resistance significantly increases patient morbidity, costs of treatment, and rates of hospitalization.

As antimicrobial resistance continues to increase, remaining antimicrobial drug options have a higher likelihood of causing unwanted side effects such as gastrointestinal distress, nausea, and vomiting. Due to a lack of drug development, the paucity of new antimicrobial drugs for common infections like UTIs will continue to worsen in the near future.

"Our study reveals that ciprofloxacin and TMP-SMX are not longer safe for outpatient urinary tract infection (UTI). Our study indicates that safer antimicrobials for outpatient UTI are nitrofurantoin in patients without kidney insufficiency and amoxicillin/clavulanate and third generation cephalosporins for all others", said Jose Bordon, MD Ph.D., AAHIVS, Infectious Disease Specialist at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC.

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To view the study, visit: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22252813

About the School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Founded in 1825, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation's capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation's capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities. www.smhs.gwumc.edu

About the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services:

Established in July 1997, the School of Public Health and Health Services brought together three longstanding university programs in the schools of medicine, business, and education that we have since expanded substantially. Today, more than 1,100 students from nearly every U.S. state and more than 40 nations pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral-level degrees in public health. Our student body is one of the most ethnically diverse among the nation's private schools of public health. http://sphhs.gwumc.edu/

About Providence Hospital

For 150 years, Providence Hospital has provided landmark medical care for persons in need throughout the metropolitan area. We are the longest continuously operating hospital in the nation's capital--yet we're still setting new standards in innovative, state-of-the-art health and wellness services. With strengths in orthopedic care, maternal and infant health, surgery, cardiology, geriatric medicine, cancer treatment, sleep medicine, bariatric services, and stroke care, we combine sophisticated medical technology with spirituality and compassion. Providence serves with a mission of healing and a dedication to community.

Providence is part of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health system, committed to Healthcare That Is Safe, Healthcare That Works, and Healthcare That Leaves No One Behind.

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