April 12, 2024

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Ukrainian field hospitals report alarming antibiotic resistance

Ukrainian field hospitals report alarming antibiotic resistance



Ukrainian field hospitals report alarming antibiotic resistance.

A research team from Lund University in Sweden collaborated with Ukrainian microbiologists to study the bacterial resistance of patients who were injured and treated in hospitals during the war. The study results, recently published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, show that many of the bacteria in the patients’ bodies have extremely high antibiotic resistance.

“I have witnessed countless situations involving patients and bacteria. But I have to admit that I have never encountered bacteria with such resistance before,” said Kristian Riesbeck, professor of clinical bacteriology at Lund University.

“When Dr. Oleksandr Nazarchuk, a microbiologist from a university in Vinnytsia, Ukraine, contacted us, we never doubted that we would help. Ukraine needs help to assess the level of antibiotic resistance of bacteria in hospitalised patients with severe injuries,” said Kristian Riesbeck.

 

 

Ukrainian field hospitals report alarming antibiotic resistance.

 

In addition to the suffering that the war in Ukraine has brought to the local people, another war is also underway, which is the invisible war against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Kristian Riesbeck and his research colleagues analysed the samples of Ukrainian patients with severe injuries, many of whom had burns, which made this obvious. These patients were infected during their hospital stay, mainly due to overcrowded wards and damaged infrastructure.

The researchers collected samples from 141 war victims, 133 adults who were injured in the war and 8 infants who were diagnosed with pneumonia. These patients were sent to three different hospitals in Ukraine, where they received emergency surgery and intensive care to alleviate their condition.

“We observed that some Gram-negative bacteria showed resistance to broad-spectrum antimicrobials, including newly developed enzyme-inhibiting antibiotics that are not even on the market yet. In addition, nearly 10% of the bacteria in the samples also showed resistance to our ‘last resort’ antibiotic – polymyxin. Although we have encountered similar situations in India and China before, they are incomparable to the level of resistance observed in this study.” Kristian Riesbeck said: “In all samples, up to 6% of the bacteria showed resistance to every antibiotic we tested.

He emphasised that this clearly shows the challenges posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria during wartime. Kristian Riesbeck was particularly concerned about the resistance shown by Klebsiella pneumoniae, as they have the potential to cause disease in immunocompetent, healthy and functioning people.

“This worries me a lot. The resistance of Klebsiella pneumoniae is so high that it is beyond our expectations and very rare. Although there are individual cases recorded in China, the severity of this situation exceeds anything we have seen before. While many countries are providing military assistance and resources to Ukraine, it is equally important to assist them in coping with this ongoing situation. The risk of further spread of resistant bacteria is obvious, which threatens the entire European region,” Kristian Riesbeck said.

 

Ukrainian field hospitals report alarming antibiotic resistance.

(source:internet, reference only)


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