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The Death of Antibiotics: We’re Running Out of Effective Drugs to Fight Off an Army of Superbugs

“We’re seeing healthy young people with urinary tract and skin infections that we don’t have a pill for,” says Helen Boucher, an infectious disease specialist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. “And we may not be able to perform organ transplants, and even routine surgeries like joint replacements. We should all be scared.”

Predicting TB's Course: CIMAR's Gillian Beamer Hopes to Unlock Why the Bacterium Affects Individuals Differently

Beamer plans to identify and test both proteins in blood and lung tissue that accurately determine disease categories and DNA sequences on chromosomes that accurately correlate with these disease outcomes. “Our goal is to generate testable models that can predict the outcome of infection before disease occurs,” Beamer said.

Doctors Are Running Out of Effective Drugs Because of Poor Financial Incentives to Develop Them

Medical researchers have known for decades that the pipeline for new drugs to stave off bacterial infections would one day run dry. That day is now at hand. “The crisis has already arrived. We are in an era now when doctors like me have no effective antibiotics for some of their patients,” says CIMAR Director Dr. Helen Boucher.

Antibiotics Aren’t Profitable Enough for Big Pharma to Make More

Public health experts are calling for new incentives to reward companies for bringing drugs that are effective against resistant strains to market. Achaogen Inc. spent 15 years racing to develop antibiotics against resistant superbugs such as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, a strain that can kill up to half the people it attacks. But as a business, it’s a failure. The drug,  Zemdri, lacked sales in its first six months on the market == less than $1 million. Achaogen filed for bankruptcy in April.

Medicare Payment Rules Hinder the Fight Against Superbugs

Late last year, a retirement community in Vermont was quarantined after an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant bacteria swept through the facility, sickening 70 seniors. In pediatric oncology wards, children beating cancer are increasingly felled by drug-resistant bacteria and fungal infections. Every week, we hear more stories of infections that have become untreatable due to resistance. Such alarms, once rare, are becoming more commonplace. The time to fix the problem is now, before it’s too late.

Video: CIMAR Professors and Doctors Join Forces to Fight Superbugs

Drug-resistant diseases are hospitalizing and killing people across the world. To fight this crisis, researchers and physicians from Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center are bringing together their unique skillsets under one umbrella: The Tufts Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance.

Archaogen Bankruptcy Raises Worry Over Antibiotic Pipeline

“We’re worried that Achaogen is not alone, and that we will see the fall of other small antibiotic manufacturers,” said Helen Boucher, MD, director of the Tufts Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance and treasurer of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). “And we’re worried about the danger this could present for our patients.”


Op-Ed: The Antibiotic Market is Broken and Won't Fix Itself

Over the past year we’ve watched two troubling trends escalate. First, patients increasingly face — and their doctors struggle to treat — infections that do not respond to existing antibiotics. Second, major pharmaceutical companies are backing away from developing new antibiotics.


Stopping Cholera in Its Tracks: Testing Bacteriophages as a Way to Halt the Spread of the Deadly Disease

Cholera strikes almost 3 million people each year worldwide. Tufts/CIMAR researchers are developing a treatment to prevent its spread, using viruses to attack the bacterium that causes the disease.


Antimicrobial Resistance Fighters: CIMAR is cracking down on one of the biggest global health concerns

Antimicrobial resistance is a global catastrophe, leading to 700,000 deaths annually around the world. Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center are heeding the call with the new Tufts Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance (CIMAR)…


Tufts-Led Study Compares Gender-Specific Expression of Antibiotic Resistance Genes During Active Gonorrhea Infection

The World Health Organization estimates that 78 million people worldwide are infected with gonorrhea each year


CIMAR Featured in Spotlight on Research and Collaboration

Given an increasingly difficult funding climate, finding the research strengths of the university and focusing resources on those areas is a priority for Tufts. After a year-and-a-half consultative process involving researchers from across the university, five thematic priority areas emerged.


Tufts Summer Programs Provide Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Tufts prides itself on being a distinguished research university, providing students with opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the real world. …


Tufts Researchers Find Link Between Dog-Human Antibiotic Resistance

For many people, pets are family; just as close to them as the humans in their life. However, a new study suggests that closeness can create a concerning health issue making prescribed medicines less effective. …




IDSA announces Tufts Medical Center Among Recipients of Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence Designation

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) announced today the recipients of its Antimicrobial Stewardship Centers of Excellence (CoE) designation.