Close up of a woman patient in hospital with saline intravenous

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have decreased across the United States, according to data recently released by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC’s 2018 National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report examined a select number of HAI types in 22,000 active acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term acute care hospitals between 2017 and 2018. It concluded that C. difficile infections decreased by about 12 percent in acute care hospitals, while Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bactermia (MRSA) stayed about the same during the time of the report. Central line-associated bloodstream infections decreased by 9 percent and catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 8 percent, in that same setting.

“Each day, approximately 1 in 31 U.S. patients has at least one infection in association with his or her hospital care, underscoring the need for improvements in patient care practices in U.S. healthcare facilities,” says the CDC in the executive summary of the report. “While much progress has been made, more needs to be done to prevent healthcare-associated infections in a variety of settings.”

Perhaps new research from Japanese academics can help. The scientific journal ACS Chemical Biology recently published findings of researchers at Nagoya University in Japan who believe they might have found a way to combat a common HAI known as pseudomonas aeruginosa.