- When Alexander Flemming first discovered Penicillin, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize, he warned of the pathogens developing resistance on prolonged exposure to antibiotics.
- 70 yrs later, his prediction has come true as disease-resistant pathogens are now spreading at an alarming rate, even leading to the development of ‘superbugs’ which are resistant to almost all antibiotics.
- According to a WHO report, if immediate measures are not taken on safeguarding existing antibiotics and developing newer ones, the world may head to an era in which common infections and injuries may result in the death of an individual.
- The report calls for greater emphasis on preventing infections occurring by practicing better hygiene and improving access to sanitation and clean water.
- In India, antibiotic-resistance of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumonia, which cause difficult-to-treat infections, is a growing cause for concern.
- Some bacteria have acquired a New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM) gene which makes them resistant to carbapenem antibiotic forcing doctors to turn to colistin, a drug that is more than 50 years old.
- To halt its indiscriminate use, the govt has taken a step by preventing the sale of about 24 antibiotics without doctor’s prescriptions.
- Doctors should prescribe antibiotics only when essential, and hospitals must ensure infection control.
- Read at: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/issues-of-antibiotic-resistance/article5984115.ece