Sunday, October 2, 2022

Antimicrobial resistance: a global threat that could set the medical world back a hundred years

A hundred years ago, a wound as simple as a small wound could have been fatal because of a bacterial infection. The discovery of antimicrobials – antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics – changed that. Capable of killing the organisms inside our bodies without harming us, antimicrobial drugs have become the go-to medicine for every cough or cold without a prescription, leading to overuse.

What is antimicrobial resistance?

Unnecessary exposure to antimicrobials can lead to a number of side effects, including antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In simple words, it means that each time we use antimicrobial drugs inappropriately, microorganisms such as bacteria gain the ability to tolerate the treatment and become able to survive, making the drugs less effective over time. become. These organisms (superbugs) that survive antimicrobial drugs can increase disease and mortality in humans.

According to one report, 1 in 5 cancer patients undergoing treatment are hospitalized due to infection, and antibiotics are their main line of defence. This means that AMR can have an adverse effect on cancer treatment, and could threaten the major advances made in cancer care and the survival of cancer patients. According to an article in The Lancet, due to reduced immunity, cancer patients are more vulnerable to infection, which means that surgery and treatments such as bone marrow transplantation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy can put excessive strain on the patient’s immune system.

Overuse of antimicrobials may ultimately back the progress so far in cancer treatment. With the increasing threat of AMR, the increasing cancer burden is a global public health problem that needs to be addressed urgently.

Jyoti Patil Shah, COO, We Care Foundation, said, “Infections are a part of our daily lives. A slight sore throat or cold, and people take an antibiotic without a doctor’s advice. Infections in patients during active cancer treatment For a variety of factors, a major one is low immunity. We Care Foundation, as an organization, aims to create awareness about preventing infections and AMR in cancer care, not only in India but also internationally. We Care has taken this step to make patients, caregivers and many more aware of how to prevent infection and antimicrobial resistance in cancer patients.”

A WHO report states that the main factors of antimicrobial resistance are overuse of antimicrobial drugs, inferior infection and disease prevention and control in health facilities and farms, lack of access to clean water, access to sanitation and hygiene (WASH), quality There are shortages. Affordable medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, lack of awareness and knowledge and lack of law enforcement.

Bacteria can share genes across bacterial species, meaning that AMR can occur naturally through genetic variation and can be passed from one species to another.

Dr. Naveen Khatri, Deputy Director, Clinical Research Centre, ACTREC and Prof. Medical Oncology, Tata Hospital. Said, “Antimicrobials should be used judiciously. Unless one is sure that there is an infection, one should not use it indiscriminately. Abuse if widely used can result in antimicrobials.” Antimicrobials can be prevented by spreading awareness about the damage caused by antimicrobials. Good management of antimicrobial use is important. A group of physicians and microbiologists who understand the resistance patterns of different organisms should be made available in hospitals. Knowledge on resistance patterns Must be used wisely so that it does not lead to further resistance.”

a global health concern

Today, AMR has been declared as one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity, requiring immediate action by the World Health Organization (WHO). Without action, medical procedures will become risky, and there will be an increase in the number of people for whom treatment fails or the infection results in death.

About 700,000 people worldwide die from resistant infections each year due to the low effectiveness of available antimicrobial drugs to kill resistant pathogens. It is estimated that by 2050, antimicrobial-resistant conditions will cause more deaths than cancer and heart disease, which are responsible for more than 10 million deaths per year. To raise awareness, both the WHO and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) have action plans.

There is a need for a global effort to combat AMR and prevent inappropriate use of antibiotics. In many developing countries, antibiotics continue to be available over the counter. Individuals often self-medicate by taking medications in the wrong dosage form or improperly to treat non-bacterial disease. Sometimes doctors may over-prescribe antibiotics due to the lack of diagnostic tests to identify the cause of the disease.

As more humans kill bacteria with various antibiotics; The bacteria would have more opportunities to develop new genes to resist those antibiotics. The less we use, the less bacteria can develop resistance. We Care Foundation, a patient-focused organization dedicated to providing support to cancer warriors and caregivers, has launched a campaign to create awareness about antimicrobial resistance across India. logical indian appreciates the efforts of the team We Care Foundation Addressing and addressing a global health concern affecting millions of people.

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Nation World News Desk
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