An increasing number of cases of drug resistant bacteria in UAE can no longer be linked to travel and foreign hospitalisationDubai, UAE: According to microbiology experts in the UAE, there is an urgent need to conduct studies to understand the local epidemiology of drug resistant bacteria. Just like at most parts of the world, during the past few years, the situation has escalated and is now endemic in the region. It seems that a considerable part of local cases can no longer be linked to travel or foreign hospitalization. A well organized and enforced antibiotic stewardship program, as well as an active surveillance programme complemented with state-of-are molecular typing facilities is required to limit the further emergence of these strains in the UAE.
According to Dr Tibor Pal, Professor of Microbiology, Consultant Clinical Microbiologist, UAE University, Al Ain, UAE, “According to international and local studies, the majority of drug resistant bacteria are contracted in hospitals. The current treatment usually applies combination therapies according to the remaining susceptibilities of the bacteria.”
“Heightened infection control measures and strict antibiotic stewardship could potentially help combat the issue of drug resistance in the UAE; as new antibiotics are not likely to be marketed in the near future. If these measures are implemented properly, they may control the transmission of such organisms,” added Associate Professor Dr Agnes Maria Sonnevend Pal, UAE University in Al Ain.
Both Dr Tibor Pal and Dr Agnes Pal will review the current surveillance systems in the UAE during the upcoming Patient Safety Middle East Exhibition & Conferences organized by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions from 4-6 October 2015 in Dubai. More than a 1000 regional and international delegates will convene to discuss the latest updates in healthcare associated infections, including identifying local determinants of the healthcare-associate infection burden, as well as review surveillance systems and protocols and evaluate hand hygiene practices and antimicrobial stewardship programmes in the region.
“We urgently need to research these strains. These studies could help us to have screening strategies streamlined to the local epidemiological situation. Most of the screening strategies have been developed in countries with differing geographical locations and demography from the UAE. Therefore, countries, and even hospitals, differ in their adapted screening strategies, or even in whether they screen for these pathogens or not. The problem is that not only the screening methods are expensive but the subsequent actions in case of a positive result could be even pricier,” concluded Dr Tibor Pal.