Estas son las cuatro superbacterias que más afectan a los latinoamericanos

Investigadores de la Universidad del Bosque de Colombia lograron identificar, tras más de 15 años de trabajo, las cuatro bacterias resistentes a los antibióticos que más afectan a los latinoamericanos, en especial dentro de los hospitales.

Las cuatro superbacterias son: la ‘Escherichia coli’, la ‘Klebsiella pneumoniae’, la ‘Pseudomonas aeruginosa’ y el ‘Staphylococcus aureus’. Según el trabajo, estos gérmenes han adquirido capacidades para vencer a los antibióticos y su número aumenta en los nosocomios latinoamericanos.

“Estas son las cuatro superbacterias con una gran capacidad de volverse resistentes y además causar múltiples infecciones en los pacientes hospitalizados”, explicó a la agencia EFE la investigadora sénior de la casa de estudios mencionada y máster en microbiología Virginia Villegas.

En el caso de la peligrosa ‘Escherichia coli’, la experta señaló que es una bacteria causante de infecciones urinarias e intraabdominales, mientras que la ‘Klebsiella pneumoniae’, que se ha vuelto “superresistente ya que posee un material genético muy complicado”, produce neumonías y bacteriemias.

En tanto, el ‘Staphylococcus aureus’ produce infecciones en la la piel y los tejidos blandos. Suele llegar al organismo a través de heridas superficiales. En los casos más graves es capaz de comprometer órganos como el cerebro y el corazón. Finalmente, la ‘Pseudomonas aeruginosa’ causa neumonías violentas e infecciones severas que los pacientes contraen en el área de cuidados incentivos. Suele vivir en áreas húmedas.

Villegas añadió que las primeras tres superbacterias pueden vivir en el tracto gastrointestinal de los pacientes y desde allí infectarlos cuando estén hospitalizados, gracias a la baja de defensas o a la “situación de estrés que enfrentan”. Pueden llegar a la sangre, al pulmón o a la orina.

La ‘Pseudomonas aeruginosa’ está en la piel de las personas y de allí ingresa al cuerpo a través catéteres.

Sobre este tema, cifras facilitadas por la experta afirman que un 30% de las infecciones en hospitales son producidas por bacterias que el mismo paciente porta en su interior, mientras que otro 30% provienen de malos hábitos de higiene en los centros hospitalarios, que carecen de políticas fuertes de lavado de manos o aseo general.

“Toda esta resistencia se ha diseminado en el mundo. Hay una tendencia universal, pero preocupa en Latinoamérica”, alertó Villegas.

Por zonas geográficas, la investigación ha arrojado que en Colombia la mas peligrosa es la ‘Klebsiella pneumoniae’, por ser resistente a casi todos los antibióticos disponibles en dicho país. También está presente en Ecuador, Brasil y Argentina.

En Perú y Chile, predomina la ‘Escherichia coli’, que cuenta con una potente enzima para contrarrestar antibióticos conocida como BLEE.

Son precisamente esas enzimas, llamadas por lo general betalactamasas y producidas por las bacterias como mecanismo de defensa ante medios hostiles, las que les permiten a los microorganismos vencer la batalla contra los antibióticos.

Según Villegas, esto forma parte de “la evolución natural de las bacterias”, pues como “se replican espontáneamente, en ese ADN que ellas tienen ocurren mutaciones”.

A eso hay que sumarle que los gérmenes están expuestos al medio ambiente, en donde, “por ejemplo, hay sustancias tóxicas” a las que tienen que resistirse.

“Un ejemplo es la presencia de hongos que producen penicilina, conocida porque puede dañar a la bacteria. Estas, evolutivamente, producen en su ADN enzimas protectoras”, añadió.

La indagación científica también reconoce que el “lento y trabajoso” proceso de identificación de un antibiótico, así como su alto costo de desarrollo, está favoreciendo a los microorganismos.

Como recomendación a los gobiernos, el equipo de expertos ha pedido que se creen mecanismos de contención nacional para superbacterias y fomentar políticas de higiene hospitalaria y de aislamiento de pacientes afectados.

“Aquí estamos trabajando, y en general en toda Latinoamérica como islas. Los hospitales tienen que hacer lo mejor que pueden, pero hay centros que no reciben este tipo de pacientes porque no los quieren tener y esa no es la idea”, concluyó.

Este grupo de investigación al que pertenece Villegas ofrece servicios de asesoría a una decena de hospitales en toda América Latina y emite alertas cuando se identifica la presencia de microorganismos altamente peligrosos.

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