Antibiotic resistance: WHO fears the "postantibiotic period"

On Monday, November 12, 2018, the World Health Organization warned of a dangerous increase in the consumption of antibiotics in some countries, as well as on the under-spending in other regions, which led to the creation of "superbugs" "deadly."

Discovered in the 1920s, antibiotics saved tens of millions of lives by effectively fighting bacterial diseases, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and meningitis. But in recent decades, bacteria have changed to resist these drugs. To the point that "Resistance to antibiotics is today one of the most serious threats to global health, food security and development", WHO alarms."Due to an increasing number of infections, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, sepsis and gonorrhea, and foodborne diseases, treatment becomes more difficult, sometimes impossible, due to loss of antibiotic efficacy"warns the organization that fears the arrival"post-antibiotic era, in which conventional infections and small wounds will be fatal again".

Beat and under the consumption of antibiotics

"Excessive consumption and under-consumption of antibiotics are the main causes of antimicrobial resistanceHill Suzanne, head of the WHO Emergency Medicine Unit, said in a statement that bacteria can become resistant when patients use antibiotics that do not need or end their treatment, which gives bacteria the ability to survive and develop immunity. Conversely, there may also be resistance "when patients can not afford complete treatment or have access only to worse or different medicines"wrote the report.

A report by the World Health Organization, based on data for 2015, collected in 65 countries and regions, shows a significant spending gap, ranging from 4 daily doses (DDDs) per 1,000 population per day to Burundi to more than 64 in Mongolia. "These differences show that some countries are likely to consume too many antibiotics, while others may not have enough access to these drugs."the WHO warned in a statement.

EUROPE. In Europe, the average consumption of antibiotics approaches 18 DDJ per 1,000 population per day, with Turkey (38 DDJ) running almost 5 times the last of Azerbaijan's (8 DDJ) ranking. However, the WHO acknowledges that its report is incomplete, as it only includes four African, three Middle Eastern and six Asian-Pacific countries. The main absences from this study are the United States, China and India.

Save time

"Without effective antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents, we will lose the ability to treat common infections such as pneumonia"warns Suzanne Hill."We need to slow down the development and spread of resistance, so that the antibiotics we have at our disposal will continue to be effective for as long as possibleDr. Marc Sprenger, Director of the WHO Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat, advises you if you are taking an antibiotic,always at the end of treatment, even if you feel better, because discontinuation of treatment helps to promote the growth of bacteria resistant to drugsThe WHO also advises to limit the spread of infections, "immunization, hand washing, safer sex and good hygiene of food"Other tips: never ask for antibiotics before the administrator's advice and prepare food"while respecting the five keys to healthier foods (keep them clean, separate raw and cooked food, cook them well, store at a suitable temperature)".

What to do at his level? Answer this infographic from the World Health Organization, which can be found in a larger format by clicking here.

Find new treatments

Microbial resistance can affect anyone, at any age and in any country. The World Health Organization has repeatedly warned that the world will run out of effective antibiotics, and last year a specialized UN agency called on states and large pharmaceutical companies to create a new generation of medicines that could fight ultra-resistant "superbugs". "Time is running"Dr. Marc Sprenger concludes.

CG with AFP

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