When COVID-19 struck the world, various measures were incorporated into our normal daily routines to combat its effects. Meanwhile, there is a growing pandemic we are not paying much attention to, which is the spread of superbugs. Superbugs are microorganisms that cause illnesses by the action of antimicrobial agents.
Antibiotics are drugs that kill or prevent the reproduction of microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa or helminths) without causing direct harm to the cells of the patient. They were once known as the heroes of infectious diseases. Meanwhile, microorganisms keep developing survival mechanisms that make them resistant to antibiotic actions. This phenomenon is known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This has led to a global crisis that has not received enough attention from world leaders, the media and the public.
A standardized review by the Antimicrobial Resistance Collaborators revealed that the global burden of AMR is far greater than the 700,000 deaths per year which were estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations (UN). This is because of the scarce data in African countries.
In 2019, Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (GRAM) recorded an estimate of 4.95 million deaths due to AMR, with 1.27 million deaths directly linked to bacterial AMR. This makes ‘superbugs’ one of the leading causes of death globally.
A major cause of antibiotic resistance is the improper use of antibiotics by humans or livestock. This includes taking less or more than the prescribed dosage, self-medication, and wrong diagnosis. To control the spread of superbugs, the use of antibiotics by humans or for livestock must be cut down, treatments should start with the most narrow-spectrum antibiotic, medications should only be taken when they are prescribed and the accurate dosage must be followed. Without radical change to the practice of antibiotic use, drug-resistant microorganisms could reach 10 million deaths per year by 2050.
At MedBioTech Laboratory, our routine microbiological tests(MCS) includes an antimicrobial sensitivity test which will determine the right antibiotic for a certain infection to give an efficient result. Visit us today for reliable and effective test results.