In a new report, "Hospital Infection-Based Control Technologies - R&D Management," from Frost & Sullivan, the key developments taking place globally in the field of infection control and methodologies adopted to minimize healthcare-acquired infections (HAI) occurrence are presented. The study presents an overview of pathogens, the incidence, prevention and future initiatives related to hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), the global impact, evaluation of prevention and control methodologies, resistant nature of the pathogens, and the R&D initiatives undertaken to date.
The report says that researchers are upping the ante as HAIs become increasingly common. With the incidence of HAIs taking on alarming proportions and the medical fraternity evincing helplessness in combating this trend, there is an urgent need to initiate measures to curb this menace. Hospitals are considered the last resort for healthcare; however, the threat of HAI looms large, compromising the safety of patients. Pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to spend enormous amounts of money to develop antibiotics, which last for a very short duration due to the multidrug resistant nature of pathogens. Governments need to take an active part in curbing and implementing guidelines and ensuring compliance from hospitals and hospital care settings. On the research front there are companies striving to come up with tools to diagnose HAI epidemics as fast as possible, notes the analyst of this research service. However in the core segment, there is evidence of a slow shift from antibiotics to bacteriophages, which are suitable alternatives owing to their low-cost overheads, high effectiveness, and environment friendly characteristics.
Successful coverage of HAI that can help improve outcomes requires the ability to identify multidrug-resistant species, quantify the infectious titer in certain important specimens, and detect broad spectrum and critical mechanisms of resistance instantly. As for phage therapy (bacteriophages) there might be a point in the future when phages will be less effective to the pathogens compared to when they were first developed. However, bacteriophages are readily available in nature and they have been evolving over billions of years with bacterial strains. Phage preparation can be enhanced by replacing or including those isolated from the environment. On the contrary, antibiotics get stuck with their core molecule. Developing a new drug requires huge R&D efforts and overhead to combat multidrug-resistant bacteria. This market has been neglected by the top tier pharmaceutical companies, says the report's analyst.
The report says that global bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) need to take stern action in creating awareness and, implement infection control measures in developing countries. Research institutes must strive to introduce novel drugs to fight the existing battery of pathogens. Care should be taken to intensify prevention measures on local, regional, and national levels for incidences to reduce drastically. The government should also take firm steps to boost bacteriophage research so that there is at least an alternative to rely on if the normal drug pattern falls short of expectations. Awareness campaigns must be unleashed to instill the values of personal hygiene. Handwashing compliance can reduce pathogen outbreak by a huge margin. On its part, the government should ensure that healthcare insurance accommodates hospital errors and HAIs. Physicians should be made responsible for the condition of their patients. New companies can gain an entry into this market by developing alternatives to tackle HAIs and bringing out new products for clean, safe, and effective sanitizing. The government should take bold steps to ease patent laws to encourage new entrants to venture into bacteriophage research, according to the report.