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Visit the Health Care Blog for a guest post by Lauri Hicks, Medical Director of CDC’s Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work Program, Seema Jain, Medical Epidemiologist for the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, Influenza Division at the CDC, and Ramanan Laxminarayan, Director of the Extending the Cure Project.

We can only wonder about the fallout from the recent revelation of a CIA-organized vaccination campaign in Pakistan, which concurrently collected DNA samples in the hopes of pinpointing the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.  Pakistan, already a harbor of suspicion towards global vaccination efforts, is also considered to be a ground-zero for polio eradication.

Another study documenting the costs and mortality associated with healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), this time with trauma patients. 

The article from the Archives of Surgery looks at the impact of sepsis, pneumonia, Staphylococcus infections, and C. difficile-associated disease (CDAD) on mortality, length of stay, and inpatient costs.  Here are some of the findings:

A CDC report released last week warned that cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea is now emerging in the United States.  It’s not the first strain of gonorrhea to develop resistance to antibiotics, but it’s one of the more troubling.

Outside of North America and northern Europe, 19-100% of total antimicrobial use occurs without a prescription, according to an early online publication from the Lancet, co-authored by CDDEP’s Ramanan Laxminarayan.

An interesting conversation took place this week between Ezra Klein (Washington Post), Kevin Outterson (The Incidental Economist), and Megan McArdle (The Atlantic) on the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria

The E. coli currently making its way through Europe is "a new strain of bacteria that is highly infectious and toxic" according to scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute who have sequenced the microbe’s genome.

Five non-profit organizations have brought a lawsuit against the FDA, claiming that the agency has violated its mandate by continuing to allow nontherapeutic antibiotic use in livestock.

Extending the Cure's parent organization, the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), is pleased to congratulate board member Sir Richard Peto, who has been named the 2011 recipient of BMJ’s Lifetime Achievement Award for having “contributed much to the decrease in neoplastic, vascular, and respiratory mortality from smoking, both in the UK and elsewhere.”

The Sweden-based antibiotic resistance network ReAct has released video highlights and power point presentations from a recent European parliament seminar, “The beginning of a new era in antibiotic development: Shaping of a new business model for life-saving innovation.”  Moderated by Andrew Jack of the Financial Times, the seminar provided a forum to examine new mechanisms to incentivize antibiotic development while also encouraging prudent drug use (i.e.