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Addressing the Rising Challenge of Healthcare-Associated Infections: A Look at Ondine’s Antibiotic Resistance Solutions

In an alarming update from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have been identified as a critical area of concern, resulting in increased antibiotic use and subsequent growth of antibiotic resistance. Approximately 4.3 million patients within the EU and EEA medical facilities have been impacted by HAIs, reflecting a critical gap in our healthcare system that demands immediate attention.

Ondine Biomedical, a leading Canadian life sciences company, offers an innovative solution with its Steriwave light-activated antimicrobial technology. This technology has demonstrated a high level of effectiveness against virtually all forms of pathogens, without the potential of fostering resistance. Indeed, one of Steriwave’s primary benefits is that it does not trigger antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a critical feature as AMR has become a rising global public health threat responsible for roughly 1.27 million deaths annually.

According to the ECDC’s recent report titled, ‘Point prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections and anti-microbial use in European acute care hospitals – 2022-2023’, there has been an alarming uptick in antibiotic usage since the last report in 2016-2017. The latest findings show that 35.5% of patients in the 2022-23 survey received at least one antimicrobial agent, compared to 32.9% in the previous period.

Meanwhile, the Steriwave technology, already widely in use in the UK’s NHS and across Canada, presents a progressive solution to the problem. It utilizes a patented photosensitizer and related red light to eliminate pathogens in the nose – a typical reservoir of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that can lead to severe infections. Research presented by Ondine at the 2023 International Consortium on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC) in Geneva indicated the technology’s high-effectiveness against both moderately and extensively drug-resistant bacteria.

In 2024, Spain’s healthcare system became the first in the EU to adopt this groundbreaking solution. Hospital Universitario La Paz, a large tertiary hospital in Madrid, and two other facilities have begun utilizing Steriwave in response to Spain’s higher rates of HAIs and antibiotic usage. Till date, over 150,000 patients have undergone treatment with Steriwave with no severe side-effects reported.

At its core, Ondine’s Steriwave illuminates a possible pathway forward in combating the escalating threat of antibiotic-resistant HAIs. As public health institutions and industry partners seek solutions to this significant global concern, light-activated antimicrobial therapies like Steriwave may indeed provide an effective, reliable response in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Ondine Biomedical remains at the forefront of these evolving technologies, affirming its commitment to innovative light-activated antimicrobial therapies and pushing the envelope in the global battle against HAIs and AMR.


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