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Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance – Report by WHO

May 1, 2014 18:30 IST

World Health Organisation (WHO)World Health Organisation (WHO) released a report Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance on 30 April 2014. WHO report provides the status of antibiotic resistance with data from 114 countries.

Report showed that antibiotic resistance revealed serious and worldwide threat to public health.  Antibiotic resistance is a stage when bacteria change so antibiotics no longer work in people who need them to treat infections. Antibiotic resistance is now a major threat to public health.

Antibiotic resistance causes people to be sick for longer and increases the risk of death.
The report showed that resistance is occurring across many different infectious agents but the report focuses on antibiotic resistance in seven different bacteria responsible for common, serious diseases such as bloodstream infections (sepsis), diarrhoea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhoea. The results are cause for high concern, documenting resistance to antibiotics in all regions of the world.

Highlights of the report

Resistance to the treatment of last resort for life-threatening infections caused by a common intestinal bacteria, Klebsiella pneumoniae–carbapenem antibiotics–has spread to all regions of the world.

K. pneumoniae is a major cause of hospital-acquired infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, infections in newborns and intensive-care unit patients. In some countries, because of resistance, carbapenem antibiotics would not work in more than half of people treated for K. pneumoniae infections.

imageIn the 1980s, when these drugs were first introduced, resistance was virtually zero. Today, there are countries in many parts of the world where this treatment is now ineffective in more than half of patients.

Treatment failure to the last resort of treatment for gonorrhoea–third generation cephalosporins–has been confirmed in Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom. More than 1 million people are infected with gonorrhoea around the world every day.

The report reveals that key tools to tackle antibiotic resistance–such as basic systems to track and monitor the problem–show gaps or do not exist in many countries. While some countries have taken important steps in addressing the problem, every country and individual needs to do more.

Other important actions include preventing infections from happening in the first place–through better hygiene, access to clean water, infection control in health-care facilities, and vaccination–to reduce the need for antibiotics. WHO is also calling attention to the need to develop new diagnostics, antibiotics and other tools to allow healthcare professionals to stay ahead of emerging resistance.

This report is kick-starting a global effort led by WHO to address drug resistance. This will involve the development of tools and standards and improved collaboration around the world to track drug resistance, measure its health and economic impacts, and design targeted solutions.

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