The world is headed for a post-antibiotic era
April 30, 2014 9:21 AM Subscribe
WHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health.
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"The world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill." - Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security.
The report, Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance 2014
, can be found and downloaded for free here
Key findings from the report include:
- Resistance to the treatment of last resort for
life-threatening infections caused by a common intestinal bacteria,
Klebsiella pneumoniae–carbapenem antibiotics–has spread to all regions
of the world. K. pneumoniae is a major cause of hospital-acquired
infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, infections in
newborns and intensive-care unit patients. In some countries, because
of resistance, carbapenem antibiotics would not work in more than half
of people treated for K. pneumoniae infections.
- Resistance to one of the most widely used antibacterial
medicines for the treatment of urinary tract infections caused by E.
coli–fluoroquinolones–is very widespread. In the 1980s, when these
drugs were first introduced, resistance was virtually zero. Today,
there are countries in many parts of the world where this treatment is
now ineffective in more than half of patients.
- Treatment failure to the last resort of treatment for
gonorrhoea–third generation cephalosporins–has been confirmed in
Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Norway, Slovenia, South
Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom. More than 1 million people are
infected with gonorrhoea around the world every day.
- Antibiotic resistance causes people to be sick for longer
and increases the risk of death. For example, people with MRSA
(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are estimated to be 64%
more likely to die than people with a non-resistant form of the
infection. Resistance also increases the cost of health care with
lengthier stays in hospital and more intensive care required.