As antibiotics become less effective due to overuse, it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat a growing list of infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning and gonorrhea.
If a bacterium carries several resistance genes, it is called a germ killer or a superbug. New resistance mechanisms in bacteria emerge and spread worldwide, threatening the treatment of widespread infectious diseases. Without urgent action, we are going through an antibiotic-like period in which widespread infections and mild injuries are once again killed.
Antibiotics are used to prevent and treat bacterial infections, not viral infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to antibiotic use and become resistant to them. Human or non-animal bacteria are resistant to antibiotics.
Bacteria are fighting back
Using antibiotics for viral infections causes antibiotic resistance
Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections such as colds, flu, sore throat, bronchitis and many sinuses and ear infections. The widespread use of antibiotics for these diseases is an example of how overuse of antibiotics can support the spread of antibiotic resistance.
In countries without standard treatment guidelines, antibiotics are often widely prescribed by health professionals and veterinarians and are used extensively by the public. There are countries where antibiotics can be taken for human or animal use without a prescription leading to the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.
What can be done about antibiotic resistance?
The world should urgently change its prescribing method and use antibiotics. Even if new drugs are developed, antibiotic resistance will remain a major threat without any change in behavior.
What can you do to control the spread of antibiotic resistance?
- Use antibiotics only when prescribed by a certified healthcare professional.
- Never ask for antibiotics if your health care provider tells them you don't need them.
- Always finish your antibiotic treatment.
- Always follow the advice of your healthcare professional when using antibiotics.
- Never use or use residual antibiotics.
- Prevent infections by regularly washing their hands, preparing foodstuffs hygienically, avoiding close contact with sick people, entering safer sexual intercourse and keeping vaccines up-to-date.
CLOCK: Antibiotic resistance