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Survey of Drug Resistant Bacteria

Bacteria that are resistant to even last-resort antibiotics are more common than health officials expected, the Associated Press reports.

It adds that officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested more than 5,770 bacterial samples collected across the country for antibiotic resistance. About a quarter of the samples harbored resistance genes and 221 had rare resistance gene. But as only some labs in each state were involved, the AP notes the real numbers could be higher.

Still, the CDC researchers write at Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that the percentage of Enterobacteriaceae resistant to extended-spectrum cephalosporins or carbapenems has declined. This suggested to the CDC team that efforts begun in 2017 to react to drug-resistance cases quickly might be working. NPR adds that that effort involves health officials putting measures in place to keep the drug-resistance germs from spreading.

However, NPR notes that, outside of the US, antibiotic resistance is becoming more and more of an issue. "We have to be doing this not only in the US but across the world because this problem is definitely worldwide," Jason Newland from Washington University in St. Louis and the Infectious Diseases Society of America tells NPR.