WHO: Antibiotic resistance is increasing rapidly

WHO: Antibiotic resistance is increasing rapidly

More and more pathogens against which no antibiotic works

Worldwide, more and more pathogens are causing infections against which antibiotics are no longer effective. Even simple, small inflammations could soon become a deadly danger, because there is hardly any other weapon than antibiotics against infections. This is indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its current report, in which resistance to nine widespread pathogens from 114 countries was recorded for the first time. Accordingly, gonorrhea could spread again, since numerous cases of the venereal disease have already been registered in which the antibiotic was no longer effective.

Antibiotics have long been considered a miracle weapon against bacteria. Whether urinary tract infection, pneumonia or infected wounds - antibiotics are the first choice for infections. However, this could change in the future, because more and more pathogens are resistant to the all-purpose weapon. There are many reasons for the resistance. For example, broilers, cows and pigs are not treated too little with antibiotics. When people eat the meat, they may ingest resistant germs. Environmental experts also point out that the increased use of medication via fertilization, but also waste water, pollutes the groundwater. However, the main reason for the increase in resistance is the frequent and sometimes unnecessary use of funds. Many doctors even prescribe an antibiotic for a cold, although it is caused by viruses that antibiotics cannot do anything about. The pathogens reacted to this by developing new survival strategies. They mutate and can pass on their resistance-mediating genes to other bacteria. In this way, one pathogen "infects" the other. Many bacteria are now even multi-resistant. Not a common antibiotic has lost its effectiveness with them, but several or almost all of them. According to the WHO, more and more pathogen strains will be affected in the future, so that the wonder weapon antibiotic gradually loses its effectiveness.

Resistant pathogens of gonads are spreading worldwide. The case of the venereal disease gonorrhea has already occurred. No common antibiotics work against the infection. So far, however, there has been a way to prevent complications such as infertility. But according to the current WHO report on resistance, there have been cases where the drug has been ineffective in 36 countries, including Austria and France. Since the 1980s, new antibiotics have been continually developed to prevent what has become a reality at all costs. But the bacteria were more efficient than humans and have developed their own mechanisms to ensure their survival. Doctors all over the world are confronted with what sounds like from a science fiction novel every day.

According to the WHO, Tripper, but also many other infections, will become an untreatable disease in the future. With the resistance report, the organization is documenting for the first time that bacteria can no longer be managed with antibiotics worldwide. "Without urgent and coordinated action by those involved, the world is heading for a post-antibiotic era," warned WHO vice-chief Keiji Fukuda to the "dpa" news agency. "Simple infections and minor injuries that have been treatable for decades can kill again . " When the report was presented, the WHO indicated that resistance to antibiotics was "now one of the main health threats".

(Almost) no antibiotic works against many pathogens Many pathogens are harmless for healthy people. If these germs become resistant to antibiotics, this is initially not a problem, but if they get into the body of a patient, they can cause serious illnesses there. These pathogens include the Klebsiella pneumoniae intestinal germ, which can cause fatal pneumonia, particularly in hospital patients with a weakened immune system. The bacteria are often not only resistant to the common antibiotics but also to the reserve antibiotics. According to the WHO, even the last antibiotic is ineffective in up to 54 percent of infections. The situation is similar with the standard remedies for the common urinary tract infections with E. coli bacteria.

In Europe in particular, the multi-resistant hospital germ MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) causes great problems. In immunodeficient people, the infections often lead to death if the germs get into the lungs, urinary tract or wounds. WHO estimates suggest that the mortality rate of infected people is 64 percent higher than that of people infected with the non-resistant staphylococcus.

Another problem that the experts encountered when preparing the WHO report is the incompleteness of the data on antibiotic resistance, as not all countries document this adequately. "The resistances are there," quotes the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" from the WHO report. "They have the potential to meet everyone of all ages and in every country." But as long as nothing changes with the current, far too frequent use of antibiotics, “the world will lose this aid more and more. The consequences will be devastating, ”Fukuda told the newspaper. (ag)

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