Superbugs in the News: How COVID-19 Is Increasing Antibiotic Use

A collection of articles exploring the nexus of the coronavirus and antibiotic resistance

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Superbugs in the News: How COVID-19 Is Increasing Antibiotic Use
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In the span of just a few short months, the ramifications and impact of COVID-19 have been vast. Virtually every aspect of public health has been affected by this pandemic, and the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria is no exception.

Recently, Pew examined the invaluable role that antibiotics play in modern health care—during the pandemic and beyond.  Our analysis was just one way to look at the issues at the intersection of antibiotic resistance and the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, and there are countless more.

Here are several articles published elsewhere that explore the nexus of two critical concerns: limiting the impact of COVID-19 and preserving the effectiveness of essential antibiotics.

This week’s articles address topics such as the role that different types of antimicrobials play in treating COVID-19 patients, the impact the pandemic is having on the antibiotic supply chain, and the fact that antibiotic use is on the rise now even though the disease can’t be treated with these drugs.

Together, these articles underscore the critical role of antibiotics and the need to take immediate steps to address antibiotic resistance to ensure the best care for patients today and in the future. Stemming the development of superbugs is essential as medical practitioners attend to those with COVID-19 as well as those who depend on antibiotics to treat a wide range of illnesses.

Superbugs: What You Need To Know About the Secondary Effects Of COVID-19
By Nicole Fisher
Published: April 22

COVID-19 May Worsen the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis
By Maryn McKenna
Published: April 23

COVID-19 Patients Need to Be Tested for Bacteria and Fungi, Not Just the Coronavirus
By Oliver Schacht
Scientific American
Published: April 16

Collateral Damage: Coronavirus Poses Major Challenge for Scientific Community
The Financial Express
Published: April 18

Analysis Highlights Troubles in the Antibiotic Pipeline
By Chris Dall
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
Published: April 17

Asian Supply-Chain Bottleneck Puts Antibiotic Production at Risk, Says Roland Berger
By Ana Maria Montero
CNN Money Switzerland
Published: April 15

Kathy Talkington directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ antibiotic resistance project.