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article imageAntibiotic resistance: Not a new problem, an out of control one

By W. Mark Dendy     Apr 30, 2014 in Health
The world is facing what appears to be a cataclysm in the global health care arena. “Superbugs” - bacteria that use nature’s micro-evolutionary mechanisms to develop antibiotic resistance have become a major threat to public health.
According to Reuters, the WHO’s (World Health Organization) assistant director-general for health security, Dr. Keiji Fukuda said, "We have a big problem now, and all of the trends indicate the problem is going to get bigger.”
The WHO just released its first global report on antimicrobial resistance. The report indicates “resistance is occurring across many different infectious agents” but the primary focus of the report is on “antibiotic resistance in seven different bacteria responsible for common, serious diseases such as bloodstream infections (sepsis), diarrhoea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhea.” What appears to be of greatest concern is the worldwide presence of bacteria resistant to carbapenems, hard-hitting, “last resort” antibiotics.
Antibiotic resistance is not a new concept though.
According to Nature, “Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, warned about the possibility when he accepted his Nobel prize in 1945.”
The misuse and overuse has led to this place in time where many organisms have become resistant to the point that leading scientists and healthcare officials are not sure that antibiotic reduction campaigns will decrease antimicrobial resistance.
In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that the Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance (ITFAR) developed a four-part action plan: surveillance, prevention and control, research, and product development. The plan is for the United States.
The plan is up and running, but it is too soon to know if progress will be made in time to prevent epidemics of diseases that have been treatable in the past.
This is a worldwide problem, and it is of epic proportion. “Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill, said ”Dr. Fukuda.
More about Antibiotic resistance, Superbugs, Bacteria, Infectious diseases, CDC
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