When a patient arrives at a hospital with an infection, her doctor must decide which antibiotic might have the best chance of curing her — no easy feat when disease-causing pathogens are increasingly resistant to multiple antibiotics.
For that reason, hospitals often track the antibiotic resistance profiles of infectious microbes that they isolate from sick patients, which provide information on the most and least effective drugs. But that data is often isolated to a particular hospital and may be difficult to access or hard to interpret, leaving physicians in the dark about which drug is ideal for their patients.
To make this data more accessible, a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy and the State Cartographer’s Officehave developed a prototype system that maps out trends in antibiotic resistance across Wisconsin. They drew inspiration from easy-to-read weather maps and consulted with doctors to develop the tool, which provides guidance at a glance of the likelihood a pathogen will respond to a particular drug. Read the full story here.