UPDATE: A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that of all the infections caused by gut bacteria, the types that are carbapenem-resistant (a last resort antibiotic) rose from 1 percent in 2001 to 4 percent in 2012. Among infections caused by Klebsiella, 10 percent have become resistant, while just a decade ago only 2 percent were resistant.
Experts also noted that when certain bacteria enter parts of the body they don't belong, such as the bloodstream, lung or urinary tract, the infection may become untreatable. Even more frightening, these bacteria are capable of passing their drug-resistant trait to other bacteria.
What other superbugs are out there?
Aside from MRSA and CRKP, several other strains of bacteria are becoming antibiotic-resistant. Four other hospital bacteria have infected people through the use of surgical implants and other equipment, according to ABC News.
Food-borne bacteria, such as e coli and salmonella, which cause food poisoning, are becoming drug resistant in part due to how many antibiotics are being fed to farm animals to prevent infection and further growth.
Sexually transmitted diseases are also becoming an issue. Super gonorrhea and chlamydia are on the rise, and may now require more invasive treatments. As antibiotics become less effective, intravenous or intramuscular treatments could become necessary.
Globally, tuberculosis is also becoming resistant to multiple drugs. Of the 12 million cases in the world, the World Health Organization believes that 650,000 are from drug-resistant strains.
How did this happen?
Several factors are at play when it comes to antibiotic resistance. Misuse of antibiotics is one of the main problems--either taking antibiotics too often for unnecessary illness - such as colds, flu bronchitis, cough, ear infections and most sore throats – or not taking the full course of antibiotics when prescribed. This can leave remaining bacteria in the body that can adapt and become more resistant to drugs and then spread to other people. When bacteria become resistant to first-line treatments, costs of care increase, along with risks and complications.
Farm animals being fed antibiotics to prevent infection and promote growth are also a problem. When bacteria survive in these circumstances, it can out-populate other strains, ensuring that resistant bugs can spread more easily, according to CNN.
Have researchers found new treatments?
A new study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation looked at the ability of vitamin B3 to help the immune system kill antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. Researchers did lab work on mice and human blood, and found that vitamin B3 increased the immune cell’s ability to kill the bacteria by 1,000 times, according to Medical News Today.