AMR is an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society. Without effective antibiotics, the success of major surgery and cancer chemotherapy would be compromised. The cost of health post programme surveillance report ireland for patients with resistant infections is higher than care for patients with non-resistant infections due to longer duration of illness, additional tests and use of more expensive drugs.
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In 2016, 490 000 people developed multi-drug resistant TB globally, and drug resistance is starting to complicate the fight against HIV and malaria, as well. As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others. Why is antimicrobial resistance a global concern? New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases, resulting in prolonged illness, disability, and death. Antimicrobial resistance increases the cost of health care with lengthier stays in hospitals and more intensive care required.
Antimicrobial resistance is putting the gains of the Millennium Development Goals at risk and endangers achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. What accelerates the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance? Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally over time, usually through genetic changes. However, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is accelerating this process. In many places, antibiotics are overused and misused in people and animals, and often given without professional oversight. They can spread between people and animals, including from food of animal origin, and from person to person. Poor infection control, inadequate sanitary conditions and inappropriate food-handling encourage the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
Patients with infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria are at increased risk of worse clinical outcomes and death, and consume more health-care resources than patients infected with non-resistant strains of the same bacteria. There are countries in many parts of the world where this treatment is now ineffective in more than half of patients. WHO recently updated the treatment guidelines for gonorrhoea to address emerging resistance. In addition, treatment guidelines for chlamydial infections and syphilis were also updated. Resistance to first-line drugs to treat infections caused by Staphlylococcus aureus—a common cause of severe infections in health facilities and the community—is widespread. Colistin is the last resort treatment for life-threatening infections caused by Enterobacteriaceae which are resistant to carbapenems. Resistance to colistin has recently been detected in several countries and regions, making infections caused by such bacteria untreatable.