Is The Increasing Antibiotic Resistance A Sign Of An Impending Apocalypse?

May 1, 2014: Resistance to antibiotics might enable common viruses and bacteria to kill human beings.

A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO) foresees a potentially bleak future for humankind. It considers a “post-antibiotic era” to be “a very real possibility for the 21st Century.” In such a world, minor injuries and common infections will have the capability to kill.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a "major global threat" to public health, according to the report. The data obtained from 129 WHO Member States revealed that AMR is a risk to prevention and treatment of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi.

The report particularly focused on the implications of anti-bacterial resistance (ABR) caused by antibiotics. The constant use of antibiotics enables the bacteria to develop resistance and mutate to become immune to antibiotics. However, due to the over-prescriptions of antibiotics and their overuse in agriculture has catalyzed the process.

The results of the report are astonishing, to say the least. Dr. Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general at WHO said, “Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”

Furthermore, the threat of antibiotic resistance is alarming and, according to Prof. Dame Sally Davies, “comparable to the threat of global warming”.

How should we proceed forward in such circumstances?

Developing new antibiotics seems to be the best possible solution. Also, appropriate steps must be carried out, both at a personal and governmental level, to reduce the overuse of antibiotics and thus slowing the resistance process.