Antibiotic resistance: Doctors warn that if no action is taken, by 2050 10000000 people in the world will die from bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics.
It is for this reason that WHO calls on all countries to participate in the fight against the growth of antibiotic resistance. As for Russia, an action plan for 2019-2024 has already been developed, which provides for appropriate steps. And what about the USA, Canada and Europe?
But what else is important to know about the problem?
How do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?
Bacteria, like any microorganisms, strive to avoid death by using different mechanisms for this.
- One of them is the production of enzymes that destroy the antibiotic. The most famous of them is beta-lactamase. Thanks to him, many types of bacteria have become resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics. If there is a so-called beta-lactam ring in the structure of the antibiotic, this enzyme destroys it, and the drug becomes ineffective.
- The second mechanism for the formation of bacterial resistance is a change in the structures with which the antibiotic interacts.
- The third is the accelerated removal of the antibiotic from the bacterial cell. This mechanism has been discovered relatively recently, and it is practically possessed by bacteria.
The creation of new antibiotics is largely aimed at overcoming these mechanisms of bacterial protection.
Antibiotic resistance: How it all started
It is possible to focus on two problems that have led to a significant increase in antibiotic resistance.
The first is related to the treatment of acute bronchitis. In 90% of cases, they are caused by viruses, and therefore, antibiotics should not be prescribed for this disease. This does not mean that they cannot be used for bronchitis at all, they just should not be the first choice drug in the treatment of this disease.
Another problem arose due to a new method of treating stomach ulcers. Since it was recognized that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori plays an important role in its development, massive antibiotic therapy began to be used. But as a result, we received a large number of bacteria resistant to drugs.
For example, in France, because of this, synthetic antibacterial agents – fluoroquinolones – have become ineffective in the treatment of pneumonia (pneumonia). In Russia, antibiotics from the macrolide group were actively used for this infection, and pneumococci became resistant to them. In the new recommendations for doctors on the treatment of pneumonia, we again recommend starting treatment with penicillins, they have retained their effectiveness.
What measures will be taken?
The problem of antibiotic resistance is of global importance, Dr. Melita Vujinovich emphasized. – These are very important and useful medicines, but only when they are used rationally and for their intended purpose. Today, 700 thousand people die every year in the world due to infections caused by microorganisms resistant to antibiotics.
It is important that the “One Health” strategy is the only possible measure to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics. It covers the protection of human, animal and environmental health, and has been developed by WHO, FAO (UN Food Organization) and OIE (World Organization for Animal Health).
Since bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms do not recognize borders, it is possible to solve the problem of resistance to antibacterial drugs only through the joint efforts of all countries.
One of the effective ways to protect a person from the sharp growth of resistant bacteria is to ban the use of antibiotics as growth stimulants in animal husbandry and their use for treatment in agriculture only in exceptional cases. Of course, the correct and rational use of antibiotics in human treatment is necessary.