Harvard Public Health Op-Ed: Tracking Superbugs in the Wake of War
“Last year, a 50-year-old Ukrainian soldier suffered horrific injuries after his vehicle was hit by munitions and burst into flames. In need of specialized care, he was transported to a U.S. military hospital in Germany, where clinicians were alarmed to discover he was carrying six different types of drug-resistant bacteria. One of them was a strain ofKlebsiella pneumoniae resistant to every antibiotic that researchers had tested against it,” writes Dr. Henry Skinner, CEO of the AMR Action Fund, in an op-ed on the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria as a consequence of armed conflict.
“These ‘superbugs’ flourish in the unsanitary conditions of war and can quickly travel from bombed-out barracks to hospitals and civilian populations thousands of miles away from the frontlines. The risk is high. Yet very little progress has been made in recent decades toward improving the technologies underpinning how we detect, track, and treat antibiotic-resistant infections.”