Antibiotic Drug Resistance on the Rise as Global Consumption Increases

in #antibiotics3 years ago (edited)

Antibiotics are a revolutionary form of medicine developed in the 20th century. They are antibacterial and antimicrobial drugs that treat and prevent bacterial infections by inhibiting the growth of bacteria or killing them. But as their use became widespread, bacteria learned to develop a resistance which rendered the antibiotics more and more useless over time.

Source, flickr

The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) published a study in March 2018 on antibiotic consumption. There are now 15.7 daily doses per 1,000 people in 2015, compared to 11.3 daily doses in 2000. This translates into a 39% increase in the use of antibiotics worldwide. This number only reflect the adult dosage. It doesn't apply to the vast use for nonhuman animals.

The lack of effectiveness of antibiotics stems from an increase in antibiotic consumption. Much of this consumption is not useful and doesn't improve the health of the person taking it. This has created a global health crisis of antibiotic resistance, and it's spreading as more areas of the world start to use antibiotics. A policy of reduced antibiotic use is suggested by the study in order to reduce this problem.

Reducing antibiotic use needs to be measured against an increased need in low income countries that can benefit more. Low-income countries have higher rates of illness and death as a result of infectious disease that can be prevented by antibiotic use. Intervention, public education and reducing overuse of "last-resort antibiotics" are measures that would help.

Things are already changing in favor of reduced use in high income countries, as their consumption of antibiotics fell during the study period. However, more action is required, but little is being done to address the UN recognized global threat of antibiotics resistance.

The study has concluded the following:

  • 35 billion daily doses in 2015
  • A 65% increase in use from 2000
  • A 39% increase in the rate of consumption (11.3 to 15.7 daily doses) in that interval of time
  • A 114% increase in low to middle income countries (LMICs)
  • A 77% increase per 1000 people per day in LMICs
  • A 36% increase in the use of broad-spectrum penicillins
  • Low to middle income countries had increased consumption that was largely driven by economic growth

If we want to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotic use, actions need to be taken. The most important thing to do is to reduce consumption. Setting up proper medical infrastructure in low to middle income countries can help reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics once introduced to the population. Improved hygiene, sanitation and diagnosis tools can help prevent the unnecessary use of antibiotics.

The improper use of antibiotics is common in high income countries as well. Many people avoid going through the medical system and self-medicate through self-diagnosis. They can do this by using old prescriptions drugs that they never finished, or by going to the black market to avoid doctors fees. I think the use of antibiotics that don't affect certain bacteria can make those bacteria more resistant to antibiotics in general, and prevent the efficacy of potential treatments that could work, but I'm not sure.

In the future there could be a point were effective antibiotics don't exist anymore. Being mindful about antibiotic use is more important now than ever. Going to the doctor to get prescribed antibiotics used to be common thinking, as if it was some cure-all. But that type of behavior has led to the current antibiotic resistance we now have. Also remember that viruses like the flu or colds are not affected by antibiotic use and only work to enable greater antibiotic resistance.

Letting our immune system deal with some infections is more prudent. The body is pretty amazing if we let it do it's job and worry less about the "death-knell" of bacterial infections in many cases. That doesn't mean to ignore the use of antibiotics though. Sometimes it's a lifesaver.


Thank you for your time and attention. Peace.

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yes, @krnel as you say !! there are several ways to prevent a viral infection from spreading through the body. however, dealing with viruses not only requires well-informed patients, but also medical specialists who guide the evaluation and treatment procedure in the most convenient way. One of the most common mistakes made by people who get an infection is to apply antibiotics to fight them. What is unknown about this action are the side effects to health that the administration of an antibiotic can cause. antivirals are drugs that are used exclusively for viral infections. they act against the metabolism of the virus and nullify the strains that may arise in case of viral resistance.

Its side effects are very unhealthy if misused. Though anti-biotics are helping in low-income countries by controlling disease and death toll but due to improper guidance of its usage.
My personal view is to avoit it to maximum as it is all synthetic and doesnt synchronize with nature law (our body).

I agree. Avoid it unless it will actually help you save your life or help you heal when going without it is even worse... :/

You are right. It is something now we have to rely on like technology lol

So true. Letting our immune system handle infections helps. Improved hygiene, sanitation are wonderful alternatives. The problem is that folks want a quick fix...a band aid to solve their problem. Preventive measure should be taken instead. Antibiotics are not a cure all nor should be an immediate answer. I for one have not had an antibiotic in years. Thanks @krnel.

Yes, band aid me up on the effects/symptoms, but I won't fix the cause :P Keep up the no antibiotic use ;)

The biggest problem with antibiotics is their improper usage. People don't know the difference between virus- and bacteria-caused infections, and decide that self-prescribed antibiotics is good idea...

Yeah, "sick" is a general diagnosis, and pills solve it all! :P hehehe

maintaining health is better than taking drugs. interesting post @krnel

Yes it is.

Great article.

But I have a copyright-related concern here. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 clearly says NO to sharing the images/content for commercial purposes. I know these results are from PNAS. So I think there is a conflict of interest here. I am sorry if you are one among the author of these papers. Then I am not sure if what I am saying is valid. If that is not the case since this article will fetch you money which means this is a commercial purpose. So it is not legal to use these images I will say. (Also you may want to read this about #steemSTEM guidelines regarding copyright issues.)


Alrighty, thanks for the heads up, didn't read fully enough, I saw "Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format". They are removed. I'll make my own charts from the data next time ;)

Only in rare cases, I received a positive reply. I appreciate it :)

The antibiotic can not be dispensed with because it is a wealth of medicine

Thanks for sharing this with us. I saw the news on TV too and believe it is time to focus and develop natural remedies (alternative medicines).

and we have to keep us healthy..