Antibiotic Resistance-The Global Threat

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 13:04

Antibiotics are very important in our lives, but they also raise important questions related to health issues and consequences. Yaqub Mir, Doctorate Student at Wigner Research Centre For Physics and Neuroscience in Budapest raises these questions in a short, straightforward article. 


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is now a global threat. Its emergence rests on antimicrobial overuse in humans and food-producing animals; globalization and suboptimal infection control facilitate its spread.

Following the discovery of penicillin in1928, Antibiotics has saved millions of lives around the world and the average life expectancy has increased considerably. But the worth of these drugs is not only a success story but failure too because the bacteria have forth back and today we see an alarming trend. The fact is that the number of multi drug resistant bacteria has been growing more and more automatically last decades resulting in thousands of deaths due to infections they cannot be cured. What Happen? The massive use of antibiotics has stimulated bacteria to develop resistance mechanism in order to survive.

For many years we did not know enough to take this global threat seriously and the involvement is increased, much damage already been done. The reason is that the antibiotics are often prescribed unnecessarily for the infections that are likely to go away without treatment. In many countries antibiotics are sold without the prescription from doctor, at the same time in many low income countries lack of accessed antibiotics actually causes more deaths than resistance.

Multi drug resistant bacteria spread within hospitals as a result of co-infection control and also between people and the community. Bacteria have no boundary because travel and trade help resistance to spread from continent to continent. Antibiotic resistance does not only affect humans but also the health of animals and the environment. It is all connected, the unpleasant truth is that Scientists have not come up with a new class of antibiotics since 1987 and we are about to enter new era where many commonly used antibiotics have lost their effect. So by 2050, the number of deaths due to antibiotic resistance could reach 10 million per year and exceed the number of people who unevenly die from cancer today. 

Antibiotic resistance has been considered as dangerous and deadly as terrorism and global warning. So immediate and coordinated measures must be taken worldwide to safeguard remaining antimicrobials and facilitate the development of novel antimicrobials. Bans on nontherapeutic antimicrobial consumption in livestock must be effectively championed despite strong resistance from industrial sectors. Conservation programs must be further optimized and implemented in other, non-acute healthcare settings such as long-term-care facilities. Educational programs targeting both antimicrobial pre-scribers and consumers must be further developed and supported. Are we heading towards the post antibiotic era? We cannot reverse this frightening trend but we can slow it down and all of us need to change our behavior once again to fight against antibiotic resistance bacteria to save the future generation. The general public must continue to be made aware of the current scale of AMR’s threat, and must perceive antimicrobials as they are: a non-renewable and endangered resource. International collaboration among researchers and policy-makers must solidify to effect lasting reductions in the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

An article written by:

Mir Yaqub

PHD Student
Research Group for Cerebral Cortical Modularity
Department of Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology
Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.
Research Fellow, Complex Systems and Computational Neuroscience group, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Budapest, Hungary

The article is based on the scientific view of the author, and is not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Alumni Hungary Network.