Antibiotic Resistance: Are we losing the fight against infections??


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“Common ailments are regaining the power to kill.” So should we be concerned?? Yes, as we have exhausted antibiotics and it has lost its therapeutic ability to save lives..

Antibiotic resistance occurs when an antibiotic fails to kill a bacteria or inhibit its growth, the bacteria becomes resistant to the particular antibiotic as they continue to multiply despite the presence of antibiotic.http://www.healthincheck.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/antibiotics.png

Recently case of E coli with mcr-1 resistance gene in urine sample of a woman from Pennsylvania was reported. In layman’s term it means bacteria is resistant to last-resort antibiotics.

According to LA times “The golden age of antibiotics appears to be coming to an end, its demise hastened by a combination of medical, social and economic factors. For decades, these drugs made it easy for doctors to treat infections and injuries. Now, common ailments are regaining the power to kill.” So should we be concerned?? Yes, as we have exhausted antibiotics and it has lost its therapeutic ability to save lives, consequently lives are being lost because of infections.

So what is causing antibiotic resistance??

Indiscriminate use of antibiotic, we often end up taking antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections like cold & flu, sore throat  and viral infections when we mostly don’t require them.  Doctors also indiscriminately prescribe antibiotics whether required or not. Some doctors are ignorant and some are simply not bothered about antibiotic misuse & resistance.  Moreover broad spectrum antibiotics are prescribed instead of specific antibiotics without accurate diagnosis.

Over the counter sale  of antibiotic is a major cause of antibiotic resistance as they are mostly self administered. Riya 35 had symptoms like pain in her pelvic area as well as frequent urge to urinate. She thought it was UTI and went on to take antibiotic of her choice. Her symptoms persisted so she decided to get a urine test of routine and culture. However her results were not accurate and culture report came back as sterile as she was already on antibiotics. She had to wait 5-7 days till the effect of antibiotic wore off, and repeat the test. Test showed she was resistant to the antibiotic she was taking.

Another reason for antibiotic resistance is intensive use of antibiotics in our livestock to fatten them which makes them resistant and in turn the resistance is passed on to us through the food-chain.

Other reasons are inadequate infection control, poor hygiene and sanitation. Poor infection control measures in hospitals & clinics which lead to cross transmission of resistant bacteria in patients. Unwashed hands, poor sanitation practice, drinking contaminated water can allow antibiotic resistant bacteria to flourish.

Watch this space for more on antibiotic resistance..

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