The World's Next Health Terror - Antibiotic Resistance

The world at the moment is still confident that the battle against bacterial infections can be won with ease - due to the help of antibiotics. This may no longer be the case.

Bacteria are no longer the same 50 years ago. It has evolved time after time to become more resilient against humanity's most potent weapon, antibiotics. Unfortunately, antibiotics are abused by both patient and medical practitioners - giving birth to super-bugs (bacteria that are nearly invulnerable to almost any kind of antibacterial drugs).

With that in mind, even the most curable bacterial infections could become extremely lethal. One of the best examples would the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Just about 80 years ago, gonorrhea can be cured by uncomplicated penicillin alone.

Today, there are only two known antibiotics that can effectively kill it, Azithromycin and Ceftriaxone. However, these drugs are losing their efficiency as seen in the news article by CNN.

How Serious Is the Problem?

According to an article published in Brink News, the overuse of antibiotics is the main cause of about 200,000 annual infant deaths. This is one of the major concerns of the UN today. During the UN general assembly in New York on Sept. 21, 2016, leaders around the globe discussed how to lessen the overuse of antibiotics and to seek a better alternative.

Antibiotics will soon lose its ability to kill bacteria unless consistently updated and derived. The issue is that the speed of bacterial evolution towards better resistance is faster than the development of antibacterial drugs.

Current Solution

The best answer as of now is purely proper prescription of antibiotics. With regards to a report on The Sydney Morning Herald, "We need to take antibiotics in the correct regimen and dose. Too-low levels generate these concentration steps that speed up evolution," said Roy Kishony, professor of Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School.

"In general, we should be mindful about not using antibiotics unless really needed."

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