Antimicrobial Stewardship in Joint Infection Diagnostics

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) refers to when pathogens become resistant to medications, rendering the latter ineffective in treating both common and severe infections. It is for this reason that AMR is considered one of the greatest health threats of this century.1

While AMR, to a certain degree, occurs naturally, the overuse of antibiotics is exacerbating the phenomenon.2 Compared to illnesses caused by non-resistant pathogens, AMR-related infections have higher morbidity and mortality rates, which is consequently creating a significant burden for the healthcare system.3,5

Antimicrobial Resistance in Numbers

Top 1012.8 million435,0004$55 billion5
Global public threatAntimicrobial resistant infections annually in the USAnnual deaths in the US due to AMR-related infectionsEstimated yearly cost to US economy

When it comes to joint infections such as periprosthetic joint infections (PJIs) and septic arthritis, the issue of AMR cannot be ignored. PJIs, for example, are difficult to treat on their own and often require a combination of antibiotic treatment and surgery. But antibiotic medications commonly used to treat some periprosthetic joint infections are becoming increasingly ineffective due to drug-resistant pathogens.2

As life expectancy improves, more people will need joint replacements, joint arthroplasties, and prostheses. And although PJI cases are relatively low, their prevalence will increase.2 By 2030, joint infection cases as a whole are projected to cost the US healthcare system $1.85 billion.6