Gram-positive pathogens in skin and soft tissue infections: is resistance a challenge in clinical practice?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) presents a critical threat to public health. It is estimated that by 2050 AMR will be responsible for over 10 million fatalities with severe loss of economic resources. Gram-positive pathogens play an important role in nosocomial and community-acquired infections due to the ability to rapidly acquire antibiotic resistance. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) Grampositive pathogens have also emerged from prolonged use of antibiotics and decreased susceptibility rates. The ESKAPE (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) pathogens are the leading cause of MDR infections. The important Gram-positive pathogens among the ESKAPE organisms are Enterococcus faecium and Staphylococcus aureus, which are the main Gram-positive pathogens associated with skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). These SSTIs include impetigo, cellulitis, scalded skin syndrome, erythema, as well as surgical and traumatic wound infections, which have been associated with poor outcomes where resistance is documented.

The unseen breeding ground for pathogens: a study on the spectrum and awareness of microorganisms on smartphones of university students in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Smartphone use has increased exponentially over the years with more than 3.5 billion smartphone users globally. In South Africa, the number of smartphone users is estimated to be around 23.2 million. The COVID-19 pandemic catapulted the higher education space into the virtual world. With the shutdown of all universities during the lockdown period, students and lecturers were forced to transition to online learning. However, due to various socio-economic factors, many students did not have access to computers and instead used their smartphones for learning and assessment activities.

Bacteriophages – an introduction to laboratory aspects: a laboratory-based study in South Africa

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has profound health and economic implications. An excess of 4.95 million deaths were associated with AMR in 2019.1 Modelling studies predict 10 million excess deaths attributable to AMR by 2050; which is higher than the combined mortality of cancer and diabetes. The resultant cost is predicted to be 100 trillion dollars in 2050. The response in combating AMR worldwide, such as the timely development of new antimicrobials, has not occurred.3 In this “post-antimicrobial” era, additional modalities to antimicrobials must be developed. Alternate approaches, like bacteriophage therapy, need urgent investigation and local application.

Prevalence of HIV-1 drug resistance among patients with high viral loads while on second-line antiretroviral treatment in Butha-Buthe and Mokhotlong, Lesotho

To date, there is no cure for HIV, although various approaches have been used to eliminate the virus, e.g. latency-reverting strategies, shock-and-kill approaches, or various vaccine designs. Nevertheless, the successful development of highly active ART has led most infected individuals today to be able to control the replication of HIV. Many people living with HIV take ART and reach full viral suppression. The growing global access to ART has resulted in a substantial decline in HIV-related morbidity and mortality.

Ethics in laboratory medicine: an African perspective

Ethics is defined as “a set of principles of right conduct”, whilst bioethics is a branch of applied ethics that studies philosophical, social, and legal issues that arise in medicine and life sciences. Ethics represent moral principles based on cultural norms and values, some of which have been turned into laws or rules and regulations. Laboratory medicine, as with all other areas of medicine, requires adherence to high ethical standards; however, there are unique ethical issues pertaining to laboratory medicine. Laboratory personnel care for patients but interact with patients’ samples rather than the person, and this unique role creates distinct ethical challenges. Furthermore, laboratories function as critical parts of complex health systems, thus the interaction of the laboratory with the healthcare system may result in additional areas of ethical friction.

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The Journal of Medical Laboratory Science and Technology - 2023 Vol 5 No 2