Trending Clinical Topics for May 2019

Ryan Syrek

Disclosures

May 31, 2019

Each week, we identify one top search term, speculate as to what caused its popularity, and provide an infographic on a related condition. If you have thoughts about what's trending and why, feel free to share them with us on Twitter or Facebook!

Trending Clinical Topic of the Week (May 25-31): Ticagrelor

A potential new tool in the ongoing fight against antibiotic-resistant disease is this week's top trending clinical topic. New findings published in JAMA Cardiology suggest that ticagrelor, an antiplatelet agent, demonstrated bactericidal activity against antibiotic-resistant gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). At minimal bactericidal concentration, ticagrelor was superior to vancomycin, and a subminimal bactericidal concentration of ticagrelor (10 μg/mL) combined with vancomycin (4 μg/mL) killed approximately 50% of the initial MRSA inoculum. Ticagrelor may herald a new class of antibiotic that can be used to confront multidrug-resistant staphylococci or enterococci.

This is particularly welcome news after a recent study found that multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs), or "superbugs," are commonly found on hospitalized patients' hands. The study was the first to use traditional and advanced molecular testing to show that the organisms on the patients' hands and on room surfaces were the same. Results indicated that 13.3% of patients had superbugs on their hands, and 39.8% of commonly touched surfaces had MDROs at any time.

Ticagrelor's efficacy comes at an opportune time, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a report warning that progress in fighting staph infections had stalled. According to the report, rates of MRSA infections in healthcare settings fell by 17.1% annually from 2005 to 2012; from 2012 to 2017, however, the rate of decline in hospital-onset MRSA infections slowed to 7.3% per year. Given ticagrelor's potential role in the fight against superbugs, searches for more information as it is incorporated into practice are likely to keep it among the top trending clinical topics.

Read more information on antibiotic-resistant infections.

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