Multi-resistant germs are bacteria or viruses that have developed resistance to many to almost all antibiotics or antivirals. They therefore react insensitively to these drugs. Multi-resistant germs are frequent triggers of infections acquired during a hospital stay (nosocomial infections). Important representatives of multiresistant hospital germs are MRSA, VRE, 3-MRGN and 4-MRGN.
How high is the risk of infection?
The risk of infection with a hospital germ is particularly high if the patient already shows signs of infection. The most common infections with hospital germs are wound infections, pneumonia and urinary tract infections. However, the exact pathogen can only be determined by means of a smear test.
As long as the germ is detectable, the patient is also contagious. If infections are detected, the risk of infection can be reduced by measures such as isolation in a single room, hand disinfection and the wearing of protective gowns and mouthguards. Even if there are no obvious infections, there may still be a risk of infection.
Hospital germs, such as MRSA, can also occur in healthy people without causing discomfort. This is called colonization. There are no symptoms, but as a carrier you can infect other people, which is especially dangerous for immunocompromised people. Colonisation can lead to an infection through surgery, whereby the pathogens can enter the bloodstream, or a weakening of the immune system.
What are the signs of a hospital germ infection?
Multi-resistant hospital germs can cause a variety of complaints. The signs of infection or the symptoms depend on the pathogen in question: Not everyone with multi-resistant germs has symptoms. A distinction is made here between a colonisation, where the person carries the germs and can also transmit them to others, but does not show any signs of illness, and an infection, where such signs occur.
However, colonisation with multi-resistant pathogens also increases the risk of infection. If, for example, the person’s immune system is weakened or if he undergoes surgery, the germs can take advantage of this and an infection can occur. – the most common infections with hospital germs are wound infections.
These are mainly triggered by MRSA or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This delays the healing of wounds, especially after operations. – Urinary tract infections manifest themselves mainly through problems and pain when urinating
- Another common infection caused by hospital germs is pneumonia. Signs of this are fever, cough with yellowish greenish sputum and pain when breathing. – blood poisoning (sepsis) is a dreaded disease that can also be caused by hospital germs.
The development of multi-resistant germs has various causes: Multi-resistant germs can be rapidly transmitted and multiply in hospitals due to frequent contact between different patients and nursing staff. – If antibiotic therapy is discontinued early, not all pathogens are killed. The survivors, who already have a certain resistance to the drug due to mutation, can now multiply without competition and form a resistant strain of pathogens.
- A further factor is the often unnecessary use of antibiotics, e.g. in viral infections or the use of strong antibiotics in banal infections. Antibiotics do not help against viruses, but bacteria can also come into contact with the drug, develop resistance and later appear as pathogens. – The use of antibiotics in the food industry also contributes to the development of resistance. Antibiotics are added to animal feed and later humans ingest small amounts of them when eating meat. The bacteria are again selected for resistance and a resistant strain can be formed.