ResistanceMap will track global spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs

A means to track the global spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs was recently launched online.

The “ResistanceMap” was developed by Extending the Cure, a research project that studies the growth of antibiotic resistance for the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, a Washington-based non-profit funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, according to the Washington Post.

The series of maps provided on the website are compiled from data taken from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network and the Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Alliance.

Resistant pathogens are becoming an increasingly serious problem around the world. They are much more difficult to treat and carry an increased risk of complications and death resulting from infection.

“With this tool, public health officials, researchers and others can see the progression of antibiotic resistance in the United States and worldwide,” Ramanan Laxminarayan, the director of Extending the Cure, said, the Washington Post reports. “By mapping the geography of resistance, we can better identify regions at risk for outbreaks.”

The map clearly illustrates that Western Europe is doing better than the United States in controlling certain kinds of resistant bacteria. The United States currently has the highest rates of infection with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus in the Northern Hemisphere.