Antimicrobial resistance, is resistance of harmful bacteria to an antibiotic drug that was originally effective for treatment of infection. The evolution of bacteria is faster than us creating new antibiotics, which implies we cannot treat infections like stomach infection, UTI, Tuberculosis, strep throat that were previously treatable.

Every time we use an antibiotic it alters the levels of bacteria out there in the environment and engenders resistance in a way that is very similar to Darwinian natural selection. In fact what we are seeing is evolution in speeded-up time so antibiotic resistance can develop very quickly.

Bacteria that are resistant to our antibiotics have been nicknames “superbugs”. As the threat of superbugs continues to rise, the number of new treatments available has flatlined. This has placed us dangerously close to the edge of a return to the pre-antibiotic era, when even simple infections caused death.

The World Health Organization warned in 2014 that the world could soon enter a “post-antibiotic era” and a report commissioned by David Cameron in 2014 said that if the world did not tackle the issue of drug-resistant infections it could well cost the global economy up to $100 trillion by 2050.

Inputs from:
Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance 2014
http://amr-review.org
Featured image: PILLS IMAGE via SHUTTERSTOCK
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