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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 213-217

Is screening patients for antibiotic-resistant bacteria justified in the Indian context?

Consultant Microbiologist, Tata Medical Center, Newtown, Rajarhat, Kolkata - 700 156, India

Correspondence Address:
S Bhattacharya
Consultant Microbiologist, Tata Medical Center, Newtown, Rajarhat, Kolkata - 700 156
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.83902

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Infection with multi-antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a common clinical problem in India. In some countries and centres, screening patients to detect colonisation by these organisms is used to determine specific interventions such as decolonisation treatment, prophylactic antibiotics prior to surgical interventions or for selection of empirical antibiotic therapy, and to isolate patients so that transmission of these difficult to treat organisms to other patients could be prevented. In India, there is no national guideline or recommendation for screening patients for multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococcus), ESBL (extended spectrum beta-lactamase) or MBL (metallo-beta-lactamase) producers. The present article discusses the relevance of screening patients for multi-antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the Indian context. Literature has been reviewed about antibiotic resistance in India, screening methodology, economic debate about screening. The percentages of strains from various hospitals in India which were reported to be MRSA was between 8 and 71%, those for ESBL between 19 and 60% and carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative bacilli between 5.3 and 59%. There exists culture-based technology for the detection of these resistant organisms from patient samples. For some pathogens, such as MRSA and VRE Polymerase chain reaction-based tests are also becoming available. Screening for MDR bacteria is an option which may be used after appraisal of the resources available, and after exploring possibility of implementing the interventions that may be required after a positive screening test result.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

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