Last-Resort Antibiotics Losing Effectiveness in India – Alarming News
A new report from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) reveals that the antibiotics we rely on to treat severe infections are becoming less effective in India. This is bad news for patients who are very sick and need these antibiotics to get better.
The report looked at data from 21 big hospitals across India in 2022. It found that because people are using antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals too much, these medicines aren’t working as well as they used to.
For example, there’s a bacterium called Ecoli that often causes infections. In 2017, 8 out of 10 patients with a drug-resistant Ecoli infection could be treated with a specific antibiotic called carbapenem. But in 2022, only 6 out of 10 patients responded to this medicine.
It’s even worse for infections caused by another bacterium called Klebsiella pneumoniae. In 2017, 6 out of 10 patients could be helped by carbapenem, but in 2022, only 4 could.
This is a big problem because these last-resort antibiotics might not work against some drug-resistant infections in India. The ICMR scientists also discovered a common mechanism of resistance in these superbugs. This knowledge could helpdevelop new drugs that work better against them.
One major reason for this problem is that doctors often prescribe strong antibiotics when they may not be necessary. Even common drugs for issues like diarrhea are not as effective as they used to be because of overuse.
In the West, when there’s a resistance level between 10% and 20%, it’s considered a serious issue. But in India, doctors sometimes prescribe these medicines even when there’s a 60% resistance level. The report highlights the importance of doctors being more careful with how they prescribe antibiotics and only giving them to patients when really needed.
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