While medical research has helped us overcome many health threats, we now face a new type of crisis: Many dangerous bacteria are becoming resistant to the drugs meant to fight them. Healthcare professionals antibiotics to treat many forms of bacterial infection — from those that are mild to those that are potentially life threatening. For the most part, antibiotics have proved to be a crucial ally in the fight for health, but over the past few years, these drugs have begun to lose their footing in their confrontation with bacteria. [read more]
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A report, Antibacterial agents in clinical development, analizes the antibacterial clinical development pipeline launched by WHO, shows a serious lack development new antibiotics to combat the growing antimicrobial resistance threat. Most of the drugs currently in the pipeline are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions. The report found very few potential treatment options for antibiotic-resistant infections, including drug-resistant TB which kills about 250,000 annually. [read more]
The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), was commissioned in July 2014 by the UK Prime Minister, who asked economist Jim O’Neill to analyse the global problem of rising drug resistance and propose concrete actions to tackle it internationally. The Review on AMR was jointly supported by the UK Government and Wellcome Trust, although operated with full independence from both. The final report and recommendations were published in the summer of 2016. [read more]
Antibiotics are the most important drug class in human history. Without them, minor infections could turn deadly. Heart surgery, cancer treatment, and virtually everything else that happens in a hospital would be far more dangerous than it is today. But if we keep taking them for granted, and fail to provide innovative approaches to funding the development of new antibiotics, drug-resistant microbes will get the upper hand. [read more]
Many of the medical breakthroughs of the last century could be lost through the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Previously curable infectious diseases may become untreatable and spread throughout the world. This has already started to happen. The report "Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance 2014" showed that antimicrobial resistance is everywhere and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country. [read more]
It has long been common knowledge in farming that antibiotics can help cause animals to grow fatter faster. Time is money in the food industry, and for many years ranchers used antibiotics not just for treating diseases but also for promoting growth to get animals ready for the slaughterhouse sooner. In 2017, the FDA enacted rules banning the use of human antibiotics purely for growth promotion in animals and requiring ranchers to get a veterinarian prescription for antibiotics that once could be purchased over the counter. [read more]
Unnecessary use of antibiotics in both humans and animals accelerates the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria, with potentially catastrophic consequences. Our best defenses against infectious disease could cease to work, surgical procedures would become deadly, and we might again find small cuts to be life-threatening. The problem of drug resistance already kills over one million people across the world every year and has huge economic costs. Without action, this problem will become significantly worse. [read more]
WHO's new Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System reveals widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance among 500,000 people with suspected bacterial infections across 22 countries. The most commonly reported resistant bacteria were Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pneumoniae, followed by Salmonella spp. Among patients with suspected bloodstream infection, the proportion that had bacteria resistant to at least one of the most commonly used antibiotics ranged tremendously between different countries – from zero to 82%. [read more]
Concern has emerged in the public health arena regarding the deadly combination of increasing antimicrobial resistance and stunted antibiotic development. Antimicrobial resistance is an evolutionary adaptation that will not cease, but can be mitigated with careful stewardship of existing antibiotics. The decline in investment in antibiotic development is a complex, multifactorial market failure arising from the nature of antibiotic prescribing, current pricing, existing patent structures, and societal expectations. [read more]