Poor hygiene and sanitation leads to antimicrobial resistance
The treatment of diseases like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and malaria has become a significant challenge due to antimicrobial resistance. According to the study carried out by WHO in 2015, 75% of the patients are prescribed antibiotics for minor colds and flu, which can otherwise be healed without drugs. Additionally, they found that only 58% of individuals knew that they have to take the whole presricbed course of antibiotics rather stop taking once feel better.
Prolonged duration of hospitalisation and increased fatalities is caused by the infections by antimicrobial-resistant organisms. As these patients need extra tests and is given much more costly medicines for the therapy, the cost of health care for these people is higher than care for individuals with non-resistant infections.
Normally, if the prescribed course of antimicrobials is not completed by the patient or there is an overprescription of any type of antimicrobial which can cause its resistance – give rise to antimicrobial resistance. In a research released in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers discovered that found that poor hygiene can likewise be among the factors for the increases in antimicrobial resistance.
The ability of a disease-causing microorganism (bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) to withstand against any kind of antimicrobial treatment, which includes antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, anthelmintics, and antimalarials. These antimicrobial-resistant microbes are also known as superbugs.
Antimicrobial resistance caused by poor hygiene practices
Scientists from Washington State University (WSU) and Universidad del Vale de Guatemala (UVG) discovered that to decrease the spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, there is a vital need to improve hygiene and sanitization in both rural and urban areas, metropolitan as well as backwoods.
Both the institutes have already been working with large scale study. The study focuses on describing how the use and regulation of antibiotics, the access of humans and animals to the healthcare services, and sanitation can affect antimicrobial resistance in high and low income nations.
To track the spread of antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli bacteria, which is usually found in contaminated water and can cause severe diarrhoea, the researchers evaluated various individuals from the rural and urban households of Guatemalan communities. Different aspects of the community such as the population density, hygiene facilities, their access to antibiotic therapies, prevalence of open defecation, methods of food preparation, milk consumption and access to clean water were analysed by the scientists.
The outcomes of the research revealed that in individuals who had an increased incidence of antibiotic usage, had regular episodes of diarrhea, had poor household sanitation, and consumed milk regularly – had antimicrobial-resistance.
In order to minimize the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance, access to antibiotics requires to be managed much better along with ensuring hygiene in every house.
Author: Sruthi S