Recent Study on Antimicrobial resistance

A recent Lancet study says that Antimicrobial resistance is now the leading cause of death. It has surpassed 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.

What is anti – microbial resistance?

It is a condition where in the disease causing microbes such as bacteria, virus becomes resistant to drugs. The drugs and antibiotics taken are no longer killing them. The microbial resistances are life threatening. As the microbes are gaining resistance, doctors increase the dosage. Powerful doses do kill the microbes. But they also affect the human body cells. And organs begin to defunct. Human bodies cannot take antibiotics after a certain level.

What is the study saying?

  • Low and middle income countries are the most affected by anti microbial resistance.
  • Out of 4.95 million deaths that occurred in the world in 2019, 1.27 deaths were due to antimicrobial resistance. Deaths due to malaria were 640,000. Deaths due to AIDS were 860,000.
  • The researchers studied 23 different types of disease causing bacteria. Of these only six caused 3.57 million deaths

First line of defence

70% of the deaths occurred due to the failure of antibiotics that are treated as the first line of defence. This included fluoroquinolones. Beta – lactams, etc. These antibiotics are usually prescribed for infections in bone infections, respiratory infection and urinary tract infections.

Reasons for the increasing antimicrobial resistance

People fail to complete the antibiotic course. They stop taking the tablets in one or two days as they feel better. Say a person gets cold and fever. He begins an antibiotic course, that is, he has to take antibiotics for five days. After 2 days, he feels better. Within 2 days, only few bacteria get killed. This is why he feels better. There are more bacteria in his body that die slowly. In order to flush out all the bacteria he has to complete his course. If he discontinues, the slow dying bacteria comes to life after two days. And they come back gaining resistance to the drugs that tried killing him.

Way Forward

The study says that the antimicrobial resistance is capable of killing more than ten million people per year by 2050. Bacteria are quick evolving. They get stronger as the humans get stronger. They mutate to survive the antibiotics.



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