Infections

To tackle antibiotic resistance, researchers try new approaches

Animated illustration of a blue pill being overtaken by purple bacteria
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Scientists are testing new strategies to build better treatments for people with antibiotic-resistant staph infections. One aims to boost the power of current antibiotics and another uses a new biologic to disable the bacteria's toxins that incapacitate the immune system.

Why it matters: Calling antibiotic resistance "perhaps the biggest health challenge of our time," Athena Kourtis, an associate director for data activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tells Axios:

"Innovative approaches like these are very much needed in order to successfully prevent and treat infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria."

The poor state of U.S. hospital quality

A doctor prepares for a surgery in a hospital operating room.
A doctor prepares for surgery in a hospital operating room. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

A slew of recent incidents and investigations offer a stark reminder that the U.S. health care system — and hospital care in particular — struggles with serious shortcomings in quality, even though we spent $3.5 trillion on health care in 2017.

The bottom line: "We are unnecessarily killing thousands of people every year because hospital quality is not what it should be," said Leah Binder, CEO of The Leapfrog Group, an organization that grades hospital care. 

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