“Silent Pandemic”: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Infections Kill More People Than Malaria And AIDS

People are dying from common infections that were once treatable because the bacteria that cause them have become resistant to treatment

More than 1.2 million people died worldwide in 2019 as a direct result of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to the largest study on this topic to date.

This figure is equivalent to an average of almost 3,500 deaths every day .

The poorest countries are the most affected, but resistance to antimicrobial drugs is a threat to global health, including Latin America, according to the report.

The report calculated that, overall, such resistance played some role in diseases responsible for nearly five million deaths in 2019, including the 1.27 million deaths caused directly by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

A 2014 study on the subject estimated that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) would cause 10 million deaths per year in 2050, Mexican scientist Gisela Robles Aguilar, a researcher in the global burden of disease and resistance to antimicrobials, explained to BBC Mundo. antimicrobials at the Big Data Institute of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and one of the authors of the study.

“Now we know that we are much closer to reaching that figure than we thought since in 2019 we estimate that 4.95 million deaths were related to AMR.”

In the same year, it is estimated that AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) caused 860,000 deaths globally and malaria 640,000.

The authors of the study say that it is necessary to urgently invest in new drugs and use existing ones more responsibly.

The overuse of antibiotics for minor infections in recent years has led to them becoming less effective against serious infections.

People are dying from common infections that were once treatable because the bacteria that cause them have become resistant to treatment.

Children, the most vulnerable

The estimate of global deaths from resistant bacterial infections was based on an analysis of 204 countries by an international team of researchers led by the University of Washington in the United States.

Most deaths from resistant bacteria were due to lower respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia, and bloodstream infections, which can cause sepsis.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, or MRSA, was particularly deadly, according to the study.

This strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria has become resistant to several antibiotics, including penicillin and methicillin

Escherichia coli and other bacteria were also linked by the study to high levels of drug resistance.

The researchers say that young children are most at risk.

Approximately one in five deaths related to antibiotic resistance was among children under 5 years of age.

The highest number of deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (24 out of 100,000 deaths and 22 out of 100,000 respectively).

In Latin America

Of the 1.2 million deaths that were a direct consequence of infections by resistant bacteria, ” 89,100 occurred in Latin America in 2019 “, Robles Aguilar told BBC Mundo.

“The highest number of deaths was recorded in the central region of Latin America, made up of Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela, with 28,300 deaths directly attributable to AMR, and 109,000 deaths related to RAM.

“The countries of the Andean region, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, also face the challenge of combating antimicrobial resistance, since 11% of deaths from infection in these countries were caused by an organism resistant to antibiotics,” added the scientific.

Regarding the type of infections, the scientist pointed out that ” the organism responsible for the highest number of deaths in the region was Escherichia coli, which caused approximately 1 in 6 deaths attributable to AMR in the region.”

“This organism is commonly found in the digestive system, but increased exposure to antibiotics contributes to the development of resistance mechanisms. Thus, common infections, such as urinary system infections, are more difficult to combat”, he explains.

“ Another organism that is kept under surveillance in the Latin American region is Staphylococcus aureus, which was responsible for 15,300 deaths in the Latin American region, mainly causing hospital-acquired blood infections.”

urgent action

For Professor Chris Murray, a researcher at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and one of the study’s authors, the new data reveals the true scale of antimicrobial resistance worldwide .

They are also a clear signal that immediate action is required “if we want to stay one step ahead in the race against antimicrobial resistance,” the expert noted.

Dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan, of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy, in Washington, DC, said global spending to tackle resistant infections must rise to levels seen for other diseases.

“Spending should be directed at preventing infections in the first place, making sure existing antibiotics are used appropriately and judiciously, and bringing new antibiotics to market,” he said.

Sally Davies, an expert on antibiotic resistance and a former senior health adviser to the British government, has said in the past that resistance is a “silent pandemic” that the world must deal with.

Urgent and global actions during the current covid pandemic can show the way forward.

“One of the great achievements of the last two years is the commitment to adopt infection prevention and control measures, basic hygiene measures, and vaccination campaigns. These types of measures are also necessary to combat the growing resistance of organisms to antibiotics, and now is a good time to encourage a similar commitment by different social actors,” Gisela Robles Aguilar told BBC Mundo.

“Access to information in a fast, open and transparent manner has contributed to combating covid-19 and is essential to monitor the increase in the use of antibiotics in the health sector as well as in the veterinary and food production sectors,” added the scientific.

“We need to constantly measure antibiotic use and resistance to understand the problem of resistance and generate solutions. And, of course, the responsible use of antibiotics is a task in which we can all contribute”.

Leonard S. Prater

I am an Addicted Internet Explorer who is working as a freelancer. I am living in Indiana, a Beautiful city of United. I am promoting for

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