Antibiotic-resistant bacteria killed nearly 1.3 million people in 2019, outperforming the victims of HIV or malaria. Bacteria resistance How can these bacteria resist antibiotics manufactured specifically to target them, and why?
Even the World Health Organization described bacterial resistance to antibiotics as “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today”, and said that although the phenomenon is a naturally occurring phenomenon, the misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is speeding up the process.
More than 750,000 people die annually from antibiotic-resistant infections, and that number is expect to reach 10 million by 2050.
The results of the study, which was funded by the UK government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, were published in the medical journal The Lancet to shed light on this health threat.
While antibiotics are use to treat or prevent bacterial infections, their overuse – as in the case of viral infections such as the common cold.
which are not effective against them – has helped some bacteria develop into resistance to them.
This resistance threatens medicine’s ability to treat common diseases, including pneumonia.
tuberculosis and gonorrhea, as antibiotics become a less effective tool against the bacteria that cause them.
What exactly did the study discover?
The study looked at 471 million individual records from 204 countries and territories.
and analyzed data from existing studies, hospitals and other sources.
Its estimates were based on the number of deaths caused by antibiotic-resistant and associated.
bacteria for 23 pathogens (organisms that cause disease) and 88 combinations of pathogenic drugs.
Researchers said lower Bacteria resistance respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
which are responsible for 400,000 deaths.
were the “most burdensome infectious syndrome” in terms of antibiotic resistance.
Bloodstream and abdominal infections were the second most prevalent drug-resistant diseases, which led to deaths in 2019.
Together, these three syndromes accounted for nearly 80% of deaths attributable to antibiotic resistance.
Bacteria resistance to antibiotics
The most harmful bacteria
The study found that E.coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
(MRSA) were among the most deadly bacteria.
The researchers found that the so-called MRSA superbug directly caused more than 100,000 deaths during the study period.
According to the study, 16.4 deaths out of every 100,000 deaths globally are attribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in 2019.
In western sub-Saharan Africa, where bacterial resistance accounted for the highest death rate in the world, this rate rose to 27.3 per 100,000 deaths.
While antibiotic resistance poses a threat to people of all ages, young children have been found to be particularly at high risk, with 1 in 5 deaths occurring in children under the age of five.
The study authors called for rigorous intervention strategies around the use of antibiotics to counter the threat posed by drug-resistant bacteria.
Suggestions in the paper included reducing human exposure to antibiotics in meat.
reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics – for example.
in the treatment of viral infections – and preventing the need for antibiotics through vaccination programs and vaccine development.
How to prevent bacterial resistance to antibiotics
Antibiotic resistance is accelerating due to misuse and overprescribing of antibiotics, as well as poor infection prevention and control. Steps can be take at all levels of society.
WHO advice for individuals:
Use antibiotics only when prescribed by a certified health professional.
Never order antibiotics if your doctor thinks you don’t need them.
Always follow your doctor’s advice when using antibiotics.
Do not share or use leftover antibiotics.
Prevent infection by washing hands regularly, preparing food in a hygienic manner, avoiding close contact with sick people, and keeping vaccinations up to date.
Prepare food in a healthy way by cooking meat well.
choosing those that are free of antibiotics, separating raw and cooked meat, and washing vegetables and fruits well.
British Special Envoy for Antibiotic Resistance, Sally Davies, said antimicrobial resistance was “one of the biggest challenges facing humanity”.
“Behind these new numbers are families and communities that are tragically bearing the brunt of the silent antibiotic resistance pandemic.
” she told The Guardian. “We must use this data as a wake-up call to spur action at all levels.”