You may not need to take antibiotics for some bacterial infections. For example, you might not need them for many sinus infections or some ear infections. Taking antibiotics when they're not needed won't help you, and they can have side effects. Your health care provider can decide the best treatment for you when you're sick. Don't ask your provider to prescribe an antibiotic for you.
You should only take antibiotics when they are needed because they can cause side effects and can contribute to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance happens when the bacteria change and become able to resist the effects of an antibiotic. This means that the bacteria continue to grow.
Antimicrobial resistance happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. That means the germs are not killed and continue to grow. Resistant infections can be difficult, and sometimes impossible, to treat.
The clinical pipeline of new antimicrobials is dry. In 2019 WHO identified 32 antibiotics in clinical development that address the WHO list of priority pathogens, of which only six were classified as innovative. Furthermore, a lack of access to quality antimicrobials remains a major issue. Antibiotic shortages are affecting countries of all levels of development and especially in health- care systems.
Without effective tools for the prevention and adequate treatment of drug-resistant infections and improved access to existing and new quality-assured antimicrobials, the number of people for whom treatment is failing or who die of infections will increase. Medical procedures, such as surgery, including caesarean sections or hip replacements, cancer chemotherapy, and organ transplantation, will become more risky.
For common bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections, sepsis, sexually transmitted infections, and some forms of diarrhoea, high rates of resistance against antibiotics frequently used to treat these infections have been observed world-wide, indicating that we are running out of effective antibiotics. For example, the rate of resistance to ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic commonly used to treat urinary tract infections, varied from 8.4% to 92.9% for Escherichia coliand from 4.1% to 79.4% for Klebsiella pneumoniae in countries reporting to the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS).
Klebsiella pneumoniae are common intestinal bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections. Resistance in K. pneumoniae to last resort treatment (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, and infections in newborns and intensive-care unit patients. In some countries, carbapenem antibiotics do not work in more than half of the patients treated for K. pneumoniae infections due to resistance.
Colistin is the only last resort treatment for life-threatening infections caused by carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae (i.e. E.coli, Klebsiella, etc). Bacteria resistant to colistin have also been detected in several countries and regions, causing infections for which there is no effective antibiotic treatment at present.
The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus are part of our skin flora and arealso a common cause of infections both in the community and in health-care facilities. People with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are 64% more likely to die than people with drug-sensitive infections.
Antibiotic resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains are threatening progress in containing the global tuberculosis epidemic. WHO estimates that, in 2018, there were about half a million new cases of rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB) identified globally, of which the vast majority have multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), a form of tuberculosis that is resistant to the two most powerful anti-TB drugs. Only one-third of the approximately half a million people who developed MDR/RR-TB in 2018 were detected and reported. MDR-TB requires treatment courses that are longer, less effective and far more expensive than those for non-resistant TB. Less than 60% of those treated for MDR/RR-TB are successfully cured.
Antiviral drug resistance is an increasing concern in immunocompromised patient populations, where ongoing viral replication and prolonged drug exposure lead to the selection of resistant strains. Resistance has developed to most antivirals including antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.
All antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, including newer classes, are at risk of becoming partly or fully inactive because of the emergence of drug-resistant HIV (HIVDR). People receiving antiretroviral therapy can acquire HIVDR, and people can also be infected with HIV that is already drug resistant. Levels of pretreatment HIVDR (PDR) to non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) among adults initiating first-line therapy exceeded 10% in the majority of the monitored countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The prevalence of PDR among infants is alarmingly high. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 50% of the infants newly diagnosed with HIV carry a virus that is resistant to NNRTI. Informed by these findings, latest WHO ARV guidelines now recommend the adoption of a new drug, dolutegravir, as the preferred first-line treatment for adults and children. The use of this drug is particularly urgent in averting the negative effects of resistance to NNRTIs.
In Africa, evidence has recently been published showing emergence of mutations linked to partial artemisinin resistance in Rwanda. So far, ACTs that have been tested remain highly efficacious. However, further spread of resistance to artemisinin and ACT partner drugs could pose a major public health challenge and jeopardize important gains in malaria control.
The prevalence of drug-resistant fungal infections is increasing and exasperating the already difficult treatment situation. Many fungal infections have existing treatability issues such as toxicity especially for patients with other underlying infections (e.g. HIV). Drug-resistant Candida auris, one of the most common invasive fungal infections, is already widespread with increasing resistance reported to fluconazole, amphotericin B and voriconazole as well as emerging caspofungin resistance.
GARDP is a not-for-profit global partnership developing treatments for drug-resistant infections that pose the greatest threat to health. GARDP works across sectors to ensure equitable access to treatments and promote their responsible use. 041b061a72