How to slow the rise of the superbug

Antibiotic stewardship is a critical strategy, says UCI Health expert

October 06, 2023

IN THE NEWS: Beware superbugs, bacteria that have evolved to render antibiotics ineffective. They are increasing in number, and concerned experts are seeking ways to slow them down.

UCI Health infectious disease specialist Dr. Shruti Gohil tells Live Science that the answer lies in antibiotic stewardship.

live science logo abstract l and s on blue background"When we give lots of antibiotics, or we give more broad antibiotics than are necessary, then you will breed more antibiotic resistance in a patient and in our populations. The hope is that, by reining in the misuse of antibiotics, we can reduce the rate that people get infected with multidrug-resistant organisms while also reducing the opportunities for new MDROs to emerge and spread between people.”

Gohil, a board-certified infectious disease expert, is the associate medical director for UCI Health Epidemiology and Infection Prevention and an assistant professor at the UCI School of Medicine. Her clinical interests include hospital epidemiology, infection prevention, communicable disease transmission and multidrug resistant organism infections.

She led the UCI Health response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, including the clinical and epidemiologic assessment of healthcare providers and patients, COVID-19 testing and vaccination, exposure definition and response, contact tracing, vaccination, and infection prevention strategies to limit viral spread.

Gohil leads several national studies to assess patient risk for multidrug-resistant bacterial infections and to prompt physicians to limit the use of extended-spectrum antibacterial drugs in real time. This includes the INSPIRE Demonstration Project, which was accepted in 2022 by the National Institutes of Health Pragmatic Trials Collaboratory, a portfolio of large-scale clinical trials embedded in U.S. healthcare systems.

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