Will Gaze co-authored a recent report on Extended-Spectrum Beta (β)-Lactamases. ESBLs are enzymes that bacteria produce making them resistant to penicillins and cephalosporins used in the treatment of severe infections. With the massive use of these ‘β–lactam’ antibiotics in human medicine, resistant bacteria, such as E. coli, are on the rise. The increasing use of β–lactams in cattle, poultry and pigs is likely to further increase spread of resistant bacteria. The report summarizes the current understanding of the spread of ESBLs and their impact on human health and provides recommendations to bring this problem under control.
The report was commisioned by the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) and the Defra Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination (DARC) and can be downloaded from the ECEHH website here.