Rebecca Kreston writes in Discover, The End of Antibiotics?
"Carbapenem antibiotics are a class of heavy duty antibiotics that treat a broad spectrum of bacterial infections. These antibiotics to be used as a ‘last resort,’ when nothing else works to dislodge a serious infection, and are now joining the rest of our failed antibiotics as microbes become increasingly drug resistant to our best and last options. These carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, termed CRE, are alarming for three important reasons: they are resistant to nearly all antibiotics, they are frightfully deadly and kill nearly 50% of infected patients, and they can spread their resistance to other bacteria by swapping the plasmid containing the resistant gene."
"In her article “Antibiotic resistance: The last resort,” McKenna sketches out the the origins of this new pandemic, where we went wrong in surveilling its presence in our hospitals and long-term care facilities, and ways to tackle its spread. The article is a must-read, kick-in-the-pants take on what we must do before we are completely at a loss to treat bacterial infections. With continuing spread of this gene among a population of pathogens and without this vital class of antibiotics, there may soon be a point in which we can do little to treat sepsis, urinary tract infections, or catheter-borne infections. We do not have any alternatives, we do not have adequate tools that work as effectively to treat these very serious, often deadly infections."