- In the past 20 years, antibiotic resistance has increased by two-thirds.
- A new study also found that one patient became resistant to the last resort antibiotic within a matter of weeks.
- Experts in health recommend that antibiotics be prescribed only when absolutely necessary to prevent the development of resistance.
- Antibiotic resistance has been one of the most serious public health threats in the last decade.
- Since the 1940s, when doctors discovered that antibiotics could save lives, antibiotics have been used to treat and prevent bacterial infections.
Overuse and misuse of antibiotics has led to resistant bacteria in the past decades. Researchers today have more information on how severe antibiotic resistance has become. They also found evidence that we have reached a terrifying new milestone.
Research published today in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Today has shown that Pseudomonas Aeruginosa may develop resistance to one of its last resort drugs. This is contrary to what we thought.
A patient infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) — a bacteria that can cause a range of infections, including urinary tract infections, bone and joint infections, and respiratory infections — developed resistance to the antibiotic ceftolozane-tazobactam in just 22 days.
The resistance has shot up
When used correctly, antibiotics can prove to be very helpful and even lifesaving. Many experts in health care are concerned that antibiotics could be lost if they are misused or overused.
“There are concerns that antibiotic resistance could lead to a “post-antibiotic world” in which infections cannot be treated. This problem has been compared to a global public-health threat due to climate change,” Dr. Stanley Deresinski of Stanford Health Care said to Healthline.
Researchers conducted surveys in 2008, 2008 and 2018 to determine how people responded to different antibiotics. This was done to assess how resistant the population is to these drugs and to identify future treatments.
The 2018 survey included 1,232 patients in 18 European countries who had been diagnosed with Helicobacter Pylori (H.pylori), a deadly bacterium that can cause gastric cancer, lymphoma, and gastric ulcer.
Here are the reasons it happens
Dr. Richard Martinello from Yale Medicine, an expert in infectious diseases, says that the more antibiotics we use, the greater the likelihood of developing resistance.
Martinello says that antibiotics lead to the development of resistant bacteria. Martinello believes that antibiotics favor growth.
This is basically how bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics.
Martinello stated that microbes are becoming more resistant to antibiotics and doctors will see more patients with infections that can’t be treated with antibiotics. Martinello also said that this can often lead to death or other serious health problems.
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What can we do?
Experts in health recommend that we slow down the use antibiotics and only use them when absolutely necessary.
“Physicians who prescribe antibiotics must exercise discretion and only prescribe them to patients if they are likely to help.” Martinello stated that up to 50% of antibiotic prescriptions are for conditions such as colds which cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Patients must also be aware of the limitations of antibiotics.
“There is a patient expectation antibiotics are cure-alls against colds, sore throats and URIs,” Dr. Theodore Strange, associate chair of medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, says.
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Patients should only take the prescribed antibiotics and return any unneeded medication to their pharmacist.