Every hour, 50 people around the world die of sepsis.

This medical emergency driven by blood infection attacks 30 million people each year—and can kill within 24 hours.

If physicians administer the right targeted antimicrobial drug to the patient within the first hour of sepsis onset, the survival rate is 80 percent. After 10 hours, the survival rate plummets to about 30 percent—even in advanced healthcare systems. The proliferation of antimicrobial resistant strains is why the correct targeted antimicrobial must be chosen from the start. Broad spectrum antibiotics are no longer the effective catch-all drugs that they were before the proliferation of resistant strains.

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To have the best chance of saving patients, physicians must be able to identify and characterize the microbial infection in less than an hour from the onset of sepsis.

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Unfortunately, the only reliable way of identifying microbes today is through blood culturing—a 150-year-old process that takes 2 to 6 days to provide results. In the meantime, physicians tell us they are completely blind to identifying the infection for at least 48 hours.

 

Sepsis Survivability - Every Hour Counts

     Source: Kumar et al. Crit Care Med; 34:1589-96

Source: Kumar et al. Crit Care Med; 34:1589-96

As they try to save lives, physicians need to identify infection as quickly as possible. 

They know that every hour counts, but they can’t prescribe the most effective drug unless they have precise information about the infection. So they typically do the only thing they can: prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics that are designed to fight a wide range of microbes.

If the antimicrobials aren’t effective against the specific microbe present, the patient could become another statistic. But that’s not the worst news.

Thanks to decades of over-prescription, broad-spectrum antibiotics are losing their effectiveness.

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     Source: The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance Chaired by Jim O’Neill December 2014, Sponsored by the UK Prime Minister and The Wellcome Trust

Source: The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance Chaired by Jim O’Neill December 2014, Sponsored by the UK Prime Minister and The Wellcome Trust

 

The Super Bug Crisis is Spreading Rapidly

    — Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

— Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

In the fight against life-threatening microbes,
we’re falling further and further behind.

Every time a physician prescribes a broad-spectrum antibiotic that’s ineffective against a specific strain of infection, it enables the microbes to adapt. They get stronger—and with each replication as the infection grows, the number of resistant strains increases.

Over time, these strains can become totally resistant to antibiotics.

In fact, so many microbes have become drug resistant that we are quickly returning to a pre-penicillin world—a world in which physicians may regularly have to tell patients: “I’m sorry, we’ve done all we can.”

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Fighting the AMR Crisis

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Antibiotics in the USA

Poor antibiotic stewardship continues because there is no fast, inexpensive test that enables true stewardship.

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If we’re going to overcome this adversary, we’ll need faster, smarter technology and not just incremental improvements to existing technology.