Antimicrobial resistance: an increasing risk

Antimicrobial resistance: an increasing risk

As a major public health issue, antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance were the main two topics debated during the 2016 World Health Assembly, which took place from 23 to 28 of May.

This issue reached a new high, as delegates from the 184 Member States of the WHO met to develop a new strategy to deal with this risk: an extensively resistant bacteria, carrying the mcr-1 gene, was discovered in a 49 year old American citizen. This is the first time this colistin-resistant gene – colistin being an antibiotic treatment of last resort – is detected in a bacterium infecting a human being in the United States of America.

In light of recent events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released new information to the public (on 26 May 2016). Their three departments have taken “the emergence of this resistance gene very seriously”, before adding that “a coordinated response is underway to try to prevent its spread”.

The US Department of HSS actions will mainly consist of prevention and educate the general public and health professionals. Furthermore, according to a study published by the Journal of the American Association (JAMA) 30% of oral antibiotics are prescribed without good reason. Those inadequate prescriptions of antibiotics are the primary cause of development

To safeguard the achievements of modern medicine and assure the antibiotics efficiency for future generations, worldwide stakeholders in the health sector are committed to support the actions of the US Department of HHS.


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