A key factor in Pennsylvania’s ability to detect, monitor and control
antimicrobial resistance is its public health laboratory capacity.
Across the nation, increasing cases of antimicrobial resistance are
currently swamping the ability of each state's public health laboratory
to keep pace. There has been limited funding in the past for antibiotic
resistance education programs and surveillance, and even this limited
funding is on the decrease. Approximately only half of state public
health labs can provide some basic resistance testing. Like many
states, Pennsylvania lacks the targeted technical ability to detect and
characterize emerging resistance patterns in a range of pathogens.
Additionally, the state laboratory does not have the capacity to monitor
the spread of resistance across the Commonwealth or to even perform
basic susceptibility testing so community-based physicians can make
informed decisions when prescribing antibiotics.
1 Dr. Fred Tenover, quoted in “The Bacteria Fight Back” Science, July 18, 2008.2 R. Monina Klevens et al. “Invasive Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections in the United States,” JAMA, October 17, 2007: 1763-1771.3 Elixhauser, A. and Steiner, C. Infections with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) in U.S. Hospitals, 1993–2005. HCUP Statistical Brief #35. July 2007. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.4 CDC MMWR “Guidance for Control of Infections with Carbapenem-Resistant or Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae in Acute Care Facilities” March 20, 2009 / Vol. 58 / No. 105 K. F. Anderson, et al.; Evaluation of Methods To Identify the Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase in Enterobacteriaceae; Journal of Clinical Microbiology, August 2007, p. 2723-2725, Vol. 45, No. 86 CDC Wonder Death Certificate Data, cited in a July 28, 2008 communication to Senator Sherrod Brown7 Pennsylvania Department Of Health, Health Advisory # 21, October 1, 20048 CDC data cited in a July 28, 2008 communication to Senator Sherrod Brown
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