Scientists are predicting that we have entered the “End of the Antibiotic Era.” What will this mean for healthcare?
The findings are worrying because they reveal a resistance to the common bacteria is at alarming levels in various parts of the world. Some of them are already running out of treatment options for common infections. For instance, the resistance carbapenem antibiotics that help to fight bacteria that cause hospital-acquired infections(HAIs) such as pneumonia or infections to newborn babies has spread to the entire globe.
Cause of an End of the Antibiotic Era1. Wrong or overuse of antibiotics
Antibiotic use at any time and setting makes bacteria to experience biological pressure and gradually develops resistance. It is still necessary to use antibiotics for treatment or prevention nut the problem occurs because of wrong or misuse. The inappropriate use promotes unnecessary antibiotic resistance.2. Overreliance on same antibiotics
Manufacturing of new typed of drugs is expensive, and as a result, there is much reliance on the same types of medicines for years. The danger is that it gives bacteria more chance to evolve and develop resistance. Also, it causes new infections that are resistant to an available antibiotic such as the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Similarly, many people take it for granted that antibiotics will clear some infections such as bacterial pneumonia, gonorrhoea and tonsillitis yet they have become untreatable.3. Wrong or excessive antibiotic use on animals
Those who rear or treat food-producing animals play a crucial role in promoting drug resistance by incorrect or excessive administering of antibiotics. Resistant bacteria develop in the animals and transmit to humans brings through the food from animals.
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Consequences of the End of the Antibiotic Era
An antibiotic era coming to an end means the significant development of resistant organisms called superbugs. These are a lab concern and global threat because they are already responsible for life-threatening infections and increased death tolls.
These infections are a headache to healthcare providers as they are aggravating at a high rate in volatile situations such as during famine, natural disaster, violence and civil unrest. The focus is mostly on the calamity, and medics take long to determine to identify spreading of superbugs. The environment at those moments is also not right to manage the spreading.
World health organization has already given a warning that that post-antibiotic era will cause frequent infections and even small injuries might cause death if there is no action to halt antibiotic resistance. Multidrug-resistant bacteria are now causing more deaths more deaths worldwide even in developed countries. For instance, 63,000 patients die every year due to hospital-acquired bacterial infections in the United States. Approximately 25,000 patients die every year due to multiple drug resistant (MDR) bacterial infections in Europe. Many other counties are facing a heavy burden of S. Aureus infections while MRSA strains are spreading globally at a rapid pace.
Estimated costs of drug multi-drug resistant bacterial infections might increase healthcare costs as well as productivity losses. Many companies will continue distributing antibiotics that might no longer help patients to heal. Patients who do recover will require another one or more prescriptions mostly with a higher dose.
Further readmission of antibiotics from an initial cycle accelerates the resistance to mechanisms. Evidence shows that increasing antibiotic use is more likely to cause positive association with higher prevalence of the resistant microorganisms and it is the reason why patients with a history of using medicine in this class are more likely to develop resistance.
End of the antibiotic era will multiply an economic burden in healthcare due to:
- Extended hospital stays
- Stringent infection control measure
- Treatment failures
Public health leaders and scientists should develop a coordinated surveillance system at national as well as international levels to address the escalation of antibiotic resistance by curtailing their misuse.