Instances of infection from drug-resistant bugs with a high mortality rate, usually seen among people who had recently been to a hospital are now on the rise, and spreading to people who have had no contact with any healthcare centre for over three months, according to a recent study.
The study conducted by the Department of Critical Care, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, and its affiliated City Hospital on 201 patients of Community-Acquired Infections, has been accepted for publication in Journal of Critical Care.
Dr Sumit Ray, author of the study and vice-chairman of the Department of Critical Care, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said. ''The distinction between community-acquired and hospital-acquired infections is becoming increasingly blurred. The main reasons for this are the spread of classically 'hospital' strains, particularly resistant Klebseilla and E. Coli, into the community and vice versa, and the repeated admission of individuals to hospitals with long-standing underlying diseases,'' The Hindu newspaper reported.
''In addition, the contribution of antibiotic resistance to the community through easily available antibiotics often used without medical supervision has resulted in an increasing reservoir of potential infections,'' said Dr Ray.
He added that resistance to high-end antibiotics by organisms contracted by patients in the community ''is a cause for worry and needs further research and proper action plan''.
According to the study, infections due to multi-drug resistant organisms, particularly those producing extended-spectrum Beta-lactamases (ESBL)s, are of major concern worldwide.
ESBLs are organisms that are resistant to various newer-generation antibiotics are easily transferred to the community.
The resistant infections pose therapeutic challenges to medical professionals in the treatment of these patients and may therefore be associated with high morbidity and mortality.
''The striking point noted in our results is the emergence of E.coli as most common bacteria in the community causing bacteraemia, respiratory and urinary tract infection and higher mortality in ESBL positive producers as compared to ESBL negative producers,'' said Dr Ray, The Hindu reported.