Stem Cell Therapy for Infections by Resilient Bacteria

With resistance to antibiotics becoming more common, there is greater need for alternative treatments.With resistance to antibiotics becoming more common, there is greater need for alternative treatments.

According to data released by the Food and Waterborne Diseases Office of the Health Ministry, an average of 15% of hospital patients suffer from nosocomial infections.

A nosocomial infection is an infection acquired in hospital by a patient who was admitted for a reason other than the infection.

“The severity of hospital-acquired infections depends on the location and type of infection,” said Abbasali Imani Fouladi, the scientific secretary of the 18th International Congress of Microbiology, which will be held on Aug. 29-31 at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, ISNA reported.  

The use of stem cells and their significant role in treatment of the infections—in particular, antibiotic-resistant infections—is a key topic that will be discussed by domestic and foreign specialists at the conference.

“Sometimes ulcers which are resistant to conventional treatment, respond positively and swiftly to stem cell treatments,” he explained, adding that officials from Council for Stem Cell Sciences and Technologies (affiliated to Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology) have been invited to the event that will be attended by scientists from Spain, Italy, UK, and France.  

Four workshops will be held on the sidelines of the meeting.

Stating that with resistance to antibiotics becoming more common, there is greater need for alternative treatments, he said, “Currently there are 12 strains of bacteria in need of new antibiotics or alternative treatments.”

The event is co-sponsored by the Health Ministry, TUMS, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, and Ilam University of Medical Sciences, according to the congress website (

Nosocomial infections occur worldwide and affect both developed and resource-poor countries. Healthcare-associated infections are among the major causes of death and increased morbidity among hospitalized patients. They are a significant burden both for the patient and public health.

According to the World Health Organization, HAIs add to functional disability and emotional stress of the patient and may in some cases, lead to disabling conditions that reduce the quality of life. Nosocomial infections are also one of the leading causes of death. The economic costs are considerable. The increased length of hospital stay for infected patients is the greatest contributor to cost.

While the prevalence rate of HAIs is 30% in lower-income countries, the average rate is around 6-11% in developed countries, according to Dr. Hossein Masumi-Asl, head of the Food and Waterborne Diseases Office.

“The most frequent nosocomial infections are infections of surgical wounds, urinary tract infections and lower respiratory tract infections,” he said.  

According to the official, the highest prevalence of nosocomial infections occurs in intensive care units and in acute surgical and orthopedic wards. Infection rates are higher among patients with increased susceptibility because of old age, underlying disease, or chemotherapy.


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