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The Impact of Multi-Drug resistant Organisms on Cancer Patients

Artical: Dr. Jorge Abarca – Consultant Infectious Diseases

MDRO stands for Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms, which are microorganisms that are resistant to multiple antibiotics. This means that the standard treatment options for infections caused by these organisms are limited, making it difficult to control and treat such infections.

The criteria for identifying MDROs vary, but typically include resistance to at least one antibiotic in three or more drug classes. Some examples of MDROs include Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).

The first discovery of MDROs can be traced back to the late 1940s and 1950s, when reports of penicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus emerged. Since then, the overuse and misuse of antibiotics has led to the spread of MDROs and the development of new strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics. This has become a major public health concern, as MDROs can cause serious infections that are difficult to treat.

Multidrug-resistant Organisms (MDROs) are a growing public health concern in healthcare settings, and the risk of MDRO infection is particularly high for cancer patients. Cancer patients are at increased risk for MDRO infection due to several factors including weakened immune systems, prolonged hospital stays, and frequent exposure to antibiotics.

Studies have shown that cancer patients have a higher prevalence of MDROs compared to the general population. The most common MDROs in cancer patients are methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and Klebsiella pneumoniae. These bacteria can cause a range of infections, including skin and soft tissue infections, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia. These MDROs can cause serious and life-threatening infections, and can significantly impact the outcome of cancer treatment.

To prevent MDRO infections in cancer patients, it is important to implement evidence-based infection prevention and control strategies (IPC). These may include:

  1. Hand hygiene: Proper hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the spread of MDROs. Cancer patients and healthcare workers should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  2. Antibiotic stewardship: The inappropriate use of antibiotics can increase the risk of MDRO infections. Cancer patients should only receive antibiotics when they are medically necessary and the appropriate choice of antibiotic should be used.
  3. Environmental cleaning: Surfaces and equipment in healthcare settings should be cleaned regularly to prevent the spread of MDROs.
  4. Contact precautions: Patients colonized or infected with MDROs should be placed on contact precautions to prevent transmission to other patients.
  5. Surveillance: Regular surveillance of MDRO infections in cancer patients is important to identify outbreaks and implement control measures.

In conclusion, MDRO infections pose a significant threat to the cancer population, and it is important for healthcare providers and patients to take steps to reduce the risk of these infections. Effective infection control measures, appropriate use of antibiotics, and increased awareness can help to minimize the spread of MDROs and protect the health of cancer patients.

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1 comment

February 27, 2023

Very informative
Thank you

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