Modern medical science has advanced so much, specially in last 100 years we have made enormous success. We now can fight any kind of bacteria and viruses those were once considered deadly. However, now there is new kind of threat which is posing a great danger to humankind. And if not checked in timely manner, it could be devastating for humanity even with all the advancement in Medical Science.
That new threat is called "Anti-Microbial Resistance". Its not really a disease but a condition where the microorganisms become resistant to most antimicrobials or medicine used to treat the infections by microbes, and such microorganisms are often referred to as “superbugs”.
So how deadly they are,a recent study says that Antimicrobial resistance is now the leading cause of death. It has surpassed one of the most prevalent yet deadly diseases like HIV and malaria, The study says that in 2019 antimicrobial resistance killed more than 1.27 million people all over the world. This is higher than those died of malaria and HIV.
So, when this happens, when antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs? When bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. If you are being treated for an infection, the kind of antibiotics your doctor prescribes and the length of the course should be based on the best evidence. Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally but is facilitated by the inappropriate use of medicines, for example using antibiotics for viral infections such as cold or flu, or sharing antibiotics. Low-quality medicines, wrong prescriptions and poor infection prevention and control also encourage the development and spread of drug resistance.
Although people are abusing antibiotics, there is also lack of government commitment to address these issues, poor surveillance and a diminishing arsenal of tools to diagnose, treat and prevent also hinder the control of antimicrobial drug resistance. Antibiotics may be just as effective as longer courses for some infections. Shorter treatments make more sense – they are more likely to be completed properly, have fewer side effects and also likely to be cheaper.
They also reduce the exposure of bacteria to antibiotics, thereby reducing the speed by which the pathogen develops resistance. WHO publishes guidelines about treatments for different infections and recommends treatment duration and doses of antibiotics based on the best clinical evidence for each case. We continuously review the latest research so that we can provide updated recommendations to health professionals.
There are two main problems. First, people may have taken medicines unnecessarily, or not as they should be taken. Second, the medicines have not always been top quality. The natural reaction of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens is to fight back against the medicines people take to get rid of them. If people don’t take medicine long enough, or if the drugs aren’t strong enough, resistant pathogens can survive and spread. This, in turn, means that people can remain ill longer and may be more likely to die. Misuse of medicines in people is not the only problem, however, the development of antimicrobial resistance is also driven by widespread use of antibiotics in livestock to promote growth and prevent illness. The spread of antibiotic resistance in livestock contributes to the spread of resistance in humans through food-borne illness and other routes of infection. The spread of resistance is further exacerbated by travel and population movement, making it easier for drug-resistant forms of a disease to spread to more people, and from one location to another.
All such actions are creating a new bread of super-bugs. If not checked, then there could situation where people may die because simple 2 inch cut in hand as it was infected but antibiotics didn't work because of "Anti-Microbial Resistance". If not controlled, simple procedure like removing a tooth can be life-threatening.
Lets hope we as human, take right action at right time to keep things under control and we should all avoid antibiotics , and use them when absolute necessary.