PART 1: ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE CRISIS


Hello and welcome to this episode of ‘The
Small Talk’. Here, we discuss important topics and sometimes
not so important ones in small, simple and concise manner. This is not a deep diving into the subject
but a small talk just enough to try and make you curious for further exploration. Let’s get started. Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms
that thrive in diverse environments. These organisms can live in soil, the ocean
and even inside the human gut, practically anywhere. Commonly bacteria have a bad reputation but
many bacteria are not harmful. In fact, some are actually helpful, including
the majority of bacteria that live in our intestines. However, disease-causing bacteria can cause
illnesses. Antibiotics, also known as antimicrobial drugs,
are drugs that fight infections caused by bacteria in both humans and animals. Antibiotics fight these infections either
by killing the bacteria or making it difficult for the bacteria to grow and multiply. The management of microbial or bacterial infections
in ancient Egypt, Greece, China and India is well-documented. However, the modern era of antibiotics started with the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928. Since then, antibiotics have transformed modern
medicine and saved millions of lives. Antibiotics have not only saved patient’s
lives, they have played a pivotal role in achieving major advances in medicine and surgery. Antibiotics have also helped to extend expected
life spans by changing the outcome of bacterial infections. In developing countries where sanitation is
still poor, antibiotics decrease the morbidity and mortality caused by food-borne and other
poverty-related infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria
develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. When bacteria become resistant, antibiotics
cannot fight them, and the bacteria multiply. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are often more
difficult to kill and more expensive to treat. In some cases, the antibiotic-resistant infections
can lead to serious disability or even death. A growing list of infections – such as pneumonia,
tuberculosis, blood poisoning, gonorrhoea, and foodborne diseases – are becoming harder,
and sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective. In many countries without standard treatment
guidelines, antibiotics are often over-prescribed by doctors, health workers and veterinarians
and are over-used by the public. Where antibiotics can be bought over the counter
without a prescription, the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance is even worse. Without urgent action, we are heading for
a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill. Tackling antibiotic resistance is a high priority. A global action plan on antibiotic resistance
is needed to ensure prevention and treatment of infectious diseases with safe and effective
medicines. Check out the part 2 of this episode where
we discuss some of the actions we can take to reverse this menace of antibiotic resistance. That’s it for now. Do let us know in the comments below, topics you would want us to cover in future small talks. If you liked what you saw, do, consider subscribing
to our channel. More ‘Small Talk’ for another episode. We will see you soon.

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