The threat of multi-resistant bacteria
Antibiotics are important therapeutics for the treatment of patients with bacterial infections. However, the misuse of antibiotics leads to the emergence and selection of resistant bacteria. Doctors now sometimes face situations where infected patients cannot be treated adequately because the responsible bacterium is resistant to available antibiotics.
Of the different resistance mechanisms used by bacteria, an important mechanism is the enzymatic inactivation of antibiotics by extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) and carbapenemases. Bacteria which have acquired this resistance mechanism are resistant to carbapenem antibiotics and are a major threat to the health-care system. Carbapenems are members of the beta-lactam class of antibiotics. Because of their basic structure, carbapenems have a high resistance to destructive bacteria enzymes and are therefore “last resort” antibiotics to treat life-threatening infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria in situations where traditional antibiotics are ineffective.
Fast and cost-efficient methods are therefore required to facilitate rapid resistance evaluation for hygienic and therapeutic measures.