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Texas Medical Center Institutions To Fight Superbugs

Superbugs infect millions each year. Eight Texas Medical Center institutions are collaborating to combat antibiotic resistance.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that at least two million people become infected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States each year, leading to 23,000 deaths.

Dr. Cesar Arias is with the collaborative: “Despite all the antibiotics we have, we cannot control the infection caused by one of these organisms.”

Dr. Arias says most clinical interventions, particularly with critically ill patients, involve antibiotics. If they become ineffective, he says it’s like going back 60 years in medicine.

“So what we’re trying to do is have a common goal and try to collaborate with all these institutions to push the field forward, you know, lead in this area in the country and in the world”, Arias says.

Arias and researchers from seven other Texas Medical Center institutions will work at the BioScience Research Collaborative Building at Rice University.

“We also have an important international component in Latin America, for example, with the zika epidemic. These organisms travel, you know, and they have no borders.”

The group plans scientific symposiums and monthly seminars. They will draw up advice for doctors and pharmacologists on giving antibiotics, as well as help government officials with strategies to help curtail overuse.

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