By Brad Ferris
In the U.S. alone, we have an opportunity to prevent more than 600,000 infections and close to 40,000 deaths over the next five years. How? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), by adopting better national infection control practices and antibiotic stewardship efforts.1 The CDC estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause two million illnesses and approximately 23,000 deaths each year in the United States alone2 and without significant changes in infection control and the prescription of antibiotics, the spread of drug-resistant infections and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) will increase.
We want to be a part of the solution, and that’s why Clorox Healthcare and the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) are partnering to help educate the healthcare community on comprehensive infection control practices that aid in reducing the spread of infection in healthcare facilities.
We and the APUA believe that when armed with the right tools and information, doctors, front-line healthcare providers and environmental services professionals can improve infection prevention practices to kill antibiotic-resistant organisms before infections can spread, protecting patients, staff and communities. Together we will be developing educational resources and materials that aim to:
- Increase awareness of antibiotic resistance.
- Prevent infections to prevent the spread of resistance.
“Ours is a natural alliance because strengthening health systems and clinical practice by cleaning, disinfection and process compliance reduces or prevents transmission of resistant bacteria. These are strategies that APUA champions globally and Clorox Healthcare helps realize,” said Stuart B. Levy, MD, President of APUA.
Surface disinfection is key
Preventing the spread of resistant bacteria is a critical step and helps preserve the efficacy of existing antibiotics by reducing the amount of antibiotics that must be used and the likelihood that resistance will develop during therapy.2 Environmental hygiene is especially important when it comes to preventing the spread of resistant pathogens like C. difficile, MRSA and VRE.
Surface disinfectants approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are equally effective against antibiotic-resistant and nonresistant bacteria. The likelihood of bacteria developing resistance to surface disinfectants such as bleach is low due to their rapid kill times. For this reason, facilities are increasingly coupling antibiotic stewardship initiatives with comprehensive environmental cleaning and disinfection programs. The preliminary results of one such program, implemented by the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey, demonstrated a nearly 40 percent decrease in C. difficile rates in 2014, compared with the previous year.3,4
“APUA’s expertise and research interests focused on documenting and controlling bacterial infections through improved surveillance, antibiotic stewardship and infection control align closely with Clorox Healthcare’s mission to help fight the spread of infection in healthcare facilities,” said Rosie Lyles, MD, MHA, MSc, Head of Clinical Affairs for Clorox Healthcare. “Through this partnership Clorox Healthcare and APUA will work together to raise awareness of this important issue and strengthen educational programs that inform best practices in infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship.”
The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Detecting, preventing and controlling antibiotic resistance and preventing the spread of resistant infections requires coordinated efforts, which is why both Clorox Healthcare and APUA were among the more than 150 stakeholders who participated in the recent White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, to help support implementation of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.
The June 2 event brought together diverse stakeholders to discuss how to implement changes to slow the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, detect resistant strains, preserve the efficacy of existing antibiotics and prevent the spread of resistant infections.
With affiliated chapters in over 65 developed and developing countries, the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) conducts research, education and advocacy programs to control antimicrobial resistance and ensure access to effective antibiotics. APUA is the leading global non-governmental organization fighting to preserve the effectiveness of antimicrobial drugs since 1981. For more information, visit apua.org.
About Clorox Healthcare
Building on a century-long legacy in cleaning and disinfecting, Clorox Healthcare offers a wide range of products to help stop the spread of infection in healthcare facilities. From comprehensive surface disinfection, including advanced ultraviolet technology, to skin antisepsis, we are committed to providing efficacious solutions to the healthcare community. For more information, visit CloroxHealthcare.com.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Making Health Care Safer.” Retrieved from: cdc.gov/vitalsigns/stop-spread/index.html#IssueDetails
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Antibiotic / Antimicrobial Resistance.” Retrieved from: cdc.gov/drugresistance/
3 Infection Control Today. “Health System Describes Success with Aggressive Campaign to Reduce Unnecessary Antibiotics.” 27 Feb. 2015. Retrieved from: infectioncontroltoday.com/news/2015/02/health-system-describes-success-with-aggressive-campaign-to-reduce-unnecessary-antibiotics.aspx
4 Gaffin, N. “Reflections From an Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.” Clinical Infectious Diseases 60.10(2015): 1588-1589.