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LETTER TO EDITOR Table of Contents  
Ahead of print publication
Emergence of antibiotic resistance: A global public health and a political priority

1 Vice Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit & Medical Research Unit, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

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How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Emergence of antibiotic resistance: A global public health and a political priority. Hamdan Med J [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2019 Oct 23]. Available from: http://www.hamdanjournal.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=248021

Dear Editor,

Antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the major threats to the humankind and possesses all attributes to revert the progress achieved till date in the management of infectious diseases.[1] The problem is so extensive that it can affect anyone, from any age group, regardless of their place of origin.[1] The antibiotics have played a remarkable role in improving the health standards of people since the last century, but then they have been taken for granted and have been either overused or underused in clinical medicine or food industry.[1],[2] It will not be wrong to say that the earlier warnings that antibiotics are losing their effectiveness have been not given due attention, and thus, antibiotic resistance is on the rise in every part of the world.[2],[3]

Acknowledging the fact that a minimal number of replacement drugs is in the pipeline, it is high time to consider the problem as a political and a global priority.[1],[3] Moreover, reports from different parts of the globe has indicated the emergence of drug resistance to common illnesses, and as the days are progressing, it is becoming more costly and difficult to treat due to the toxicity and the expensive nature of second-line drugs and prolonged duration of hospital stay.[3] Further, this resistance has raised serious questions towards the success of major surgeries, and it is not a distant probability that it will become too difficult to conduct such procedures in the near future due to the lack of drugs to contain the subsequent infections.[1],[2],[3]

The World Bank has issued a warning that the current rising trend of antimicrobial resistance can cripple the economy of a nation and will even have disastrous implications on the public health standards of the general population.[2] The reality is that the problem can be contained only through coordinated efforts by different stakeholders from all the concerned sectors.[3] At the same time, there is a great need to provide incentives to facilitate the development of replacement drugs, despite poor returns or a short market life.[1] Similarly, it is the responsibility of patients to not to ask for antibiotics for viral infections, while doctors should also start using antibiotic rationally, and then, there should be better diagnostic tests to confirm an infection and even more number of vaccines to prevent acquisition of the infection.[1],[3]

The good thing is that political awareness is quite high to take urgent steps to the problem and that a global action plan has been formulated with the support of different international welfare agencies and the key pillar is to ensure multisectoral collaboration at various levels.[2],[3] Moreover, a global surveillance system has been developed to track drug-resistant pathogens and facilitate research and development collaboration to not only develop new antibiotics but also facilitate their appropriate usage.[1],[2] In addition, the list of essential medicines has been revised, and even a list of the 12 priority antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been released, which requires immediate attention.[2],[4]

To conclude, antibiotic resistance has become a political priority and all efforts should be taken to reduce the magnitude of the problem by developing a framework to support the development, distribution and appropriate use of new antimicrobial drugs, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other measures.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

World Health Organization. Antibiotic Resistance – Fact Sheet; 2018. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/antibiotic-resistance/en/. [Last accessed on 2018 Nov 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
World Health Organization. Antimicrobial Resistance: Now a Political Priority; 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/publications/10-year-review/health-guardian/en/index3.html. [Last accessed on 2018 Nov 08].  Back to cited text no. 2
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Much more is expected from nations to counter antimicrobial resistance: World Health Organization. J Res Med Sci 2015;20:718-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
World Health Organization. WHO Publishes List of Bacteria for which New Antibiotics are Urgently Needed; 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/bacteria-antibiotics-needed/en/. [Last accessed on 2018 Nov 05].  Back to cited text no. 4

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava,
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2227-2437.248021


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