One of the most challenging tasks currently facing the human health care industry is to successfully discover, develop and commercialize new antibiotics with new modes of action. It is widely admitted that the current battery of antibiotics available to treat bacteria-caused diseases is running thin and one is very much struggling to cope satisfactorily with the occurrence of what is called “the new antibiotics resistant superbugs”.
The continuous increase and availability of transportation solutions throughout the world for both people and products means that the risk for global infectious disease outbreaks and rapid spread has never been so high. The recent H1N1 epidemic greatly impacted both human populations and economic activities. Response time in terms of the diagnosis of infected people is of paramount importance to rapidly contain the spread of the disease.
Previously known as “hospital acquired infection” or “nosocomial infection”, the “healthcare-associated infections” term (HAI) reflects the fact that a great deal of healthcare is now performed outside the hospital setting.
One increasing concern is the infections acquired after the admission of patients to a healthcare setting, e.g. hospitals, nursing homes or even the patient's own home. Since the 1950s numerous programmes of continued surveillance and infection testing programmes were implemented and turned out to be instrumental in decreasing the impact of these infections but also in helping the prioritization of resources and efforts to improve overall medical care.
The HAI can be localized or systemic and can be associated with medical devices (presence of biofilms for instance) or blood product transfusion. There are responsible for acute pathologies such as bloodstream infections, pneumonia and urinary tract infections.
- Assistance with the thorough genomic and protein of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and in the discovery of new and more potent antibiotics.