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Antibiotic-resistant Infections On The Rise, Reveals New Study

Be it a fever or an allergy - antibiotics are our go-to. Powerful drugs that help protect our body from bacteria, antibiotics when used appropriately, are quick and effective. It can help eliminate infections and thereby improve one's health in a few days.

Possessing various benefits such as slowing down and killing off the growth of many types of infections and preventing infections during surgery to easing down throat infections, antibiotics have become the easiest answer to common diseases [1] . However, it is not effective in treating flu, colds, coughs and sore throats [2] .

Consequently, we all know that if we consume or use too much of something - it will become less effective or non-effective and the same goes for antibiotics. According to a recent study, the more we take antibiotics to cure bacterial infections, the more our bodies build resistance, which wipes out their effectiveness in making us well [3] .

Yes, the infections are becoming antibiotic-resistant, making the medicines no longer useful for treating and curing any.

Antibiotic-resistant Bloodstream Infections On The Rise

As per the findings of a growing body of research, the number of antibiotic-resistant bloodstream infections has risen by 32 per cent in the last 5 years. The global crisis of antibiotic-resistance is indeed caused by the overuse of the medicines, the study reveals.

Doctors from all around the globe have reported that the rise of drug-resistant infections has become worrisome and due to this, identifying the risk behind infections have become difficult. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2,00,000 people die from antibiotic-resistant infections every year [4] .

It has caused a decline in antibiotic prescribing, which researchers asserted were a positive sign but at the same time, the rise in resistant infections shows the threat is increasing - requiring the need to carry out further studies on the same. Because, antibiotics are lifesaving when required and otherwise they can kill good and bad bacteria alike, putting the body's bacteria under intense pressure to survive [5] .

And let me tell you - bacteria are the real survivors. With the resistance from the antibiotics - the bacteria exchange genetic material and evolve, gaining survival traits like the ability to pump out, break down, or avoid the antibiotics [6] .

A Large Number Of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) Reported

The researchers were able to find out that nearly 60 per cent of urinary tract infections were caused by drug-resistant bacteria. The bacteria were resistant to most of the commonly used antibiotics and also showed no identifiable risk for this kind of infection [7] . E.coli was the most analysed bacteria which were resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics, causing the rampant rise in a large number of UTI cases.

UTIs are one of the most common types of infection. At least one in two women and one in 10 men will experience a UTI in their lifetime. Consequently, the resistance developed by E.coli against the antibiotics has increased the number of cases reported, with the study pointing out that 'one in three uncomplicated UTIs in young healthy women are Bactrim-resistant and one in five are resistant to five other common antibiotics' [8] .

On A Final Note....

One of the major issues that have been highlighted in the research is the over-consumption of antibiotics. Though many things drive bacterial resistance, giving antibiotics to animals and antibiotic overuse in humans top the list. You must reduce and carefully target antibiotic use and also ask the doctor about the antibiotics prescribed to you in case of infections.

View Article References
  1. [1] Frazee, B. W., Trivedi, T., Montgomery, M., Petrovic, D. F., Yamaji, R., & Riley, L. (2018). Emergency department urinary tract infections caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae: many patients have no identifiable risk factor and discordant empiric therapy is common. Annals of emergency medicine, 72(4), 449-456.
  2. [2] Gardiner, B. J., Stewardson, A. J., Abbott, I. J., & Peleg, A. Y. (2019). Nitrofurantoin and fosfomycin for resistant urinary tract infections: old drugs for emerging problems. Australian prescriber, 42(1), 14.
  3. [3] Gizachew, Z., Kassa, T., Beyene, G., Howe, R., & Yeshitela, B. (2019). MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT BACTERIA AND ASSOCIATED FACTORS AMONG URINARY TRACT INFECTION SUSPECTEDREPRODUCTIVE AGED WOMEN IN JIMMA UNIVERSITY SPECIALIZED HOSPITAL, SOUTHWEST ETHIOPIA. Ethiopian Medical Journal.
  4. [4] Kang, K. T., Ng, K., Kendrick, J., Tilley, P., Ting, J., Rassekh, S., ... & Roberts, A. (2019). Third-generation cephalosporin-resistant urinary tract infections in children presenting to the paediatric emergency department. Paediatrics & Child Health.
  5. [5] Thänert, R., Reske, K. A., Hink, T., Wallace, M. A., Wang, B., Schwartz, D. J., ... & Kwon, J. H. (2019). Comparative genomics of antibiotic-resistant uropathogens implicates three routes for recurrence of urinary tract infections. mBio, 10(4), e01977-19.
  6. [6] Haruna, N. I., Boyi, N. Y., Enya, B. B., Grace, P., & Danladi, M. (2019). Antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli from urine of patients with suspected urinary tract infections accessing Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Nigeria.
  7. [7] Mody, L., & Juthani-Mehta, M. (2019). Older men may benefit from antimicrobial prophylaxis for recurrent urinary tract infections.
  8. [8] American College Of Emergency Physicians. (2019, October 31). Certain antibiotic-resistant infections on the rise, new research shows. Retrieved from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/acoe-cai082118.php

Read more about: medicines antibiotics infections
Story first published: Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 15:00 [IST]
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