Displaying 1-4 of 4 key documents
Source: Wellcome Trust | July 2005
A mix of factsheets, opinion pieces and case studies on antibiotic resistance in developed and developing countries, the publication looks at the history of antibiotics, the development of resistance and possible ways of combating it. Some of the pieces look at how medical staff cope with resistance, particularly MRSA, in hospitals. The editorial emphasises the need for consumers to play their part, and urges people not to take the benefits of antibiotics for granted. The issue of antimicrobials in animals is covered because of growing evidence that resistant bacteria can spread from animals to humans.
Source: Africa Health | March 2003
This background piece to understanding antibiotic resistance in Africa is written in accessible language. It outlines the scale of the problem in Africa (bacterial infections cause 45 per cent of deaths) and the commonest types of infections — tuberculosis, respiratory illnesses and sexually transmitted infections.
It addresses problems of antibiotic resistance specific to African populations: the heavy burden of community-acquired infections; the limited range of first-line antibiotics and varying availability of second-line drugs (often vital against resistant bacteria); the hidden costs from longer hospital admission times and more expensive drugs needed to treat resistant pathogens.
The AIDS epidemic is linked to the problem – the HIV virus weakens people’s immune systems making them more susceptible to bacterial infection. In addition, antibiotics used prophylactically in AIDS patients to prevent opportunistic infections are also used for a wide range of bacterial infections, making it more likely that the pathogens will develop resistance.
Another problem is the sale of antibiotics by unsanctioned providers, who might give incorrect information about how to take the drugs. They frequently sell poor-quality or even counterfeit drugs that don’t cure the patient but encourage bacterial resistance.
Consumers need to be made aware of their own responsibilities, says the article, but ultimate responsibility lies with the healthcare providers in instituting and maintaining treatment programmes.
Source: WHO | January 2002
The factsheet outlines the problem of antibiotic resistance detailing the causes, consequences and factors that encourage the spread of resistance. It is ideal for people wanting a snapshot of the problem from WHO's perspective, although for more detailed information see the WHO global strategy for containment of antimicrobial resistance.
Source: WHO | September 2005
In this report, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that vigilance is needed to prevent drug-resistant malaria arising from the widescale introduction of artemisin combination therapies (ACTs) for malaria. More than 50 countries have now adopted ACTs, and they must closely monitor the effectiveness of these drugs and check for the emergence of resistance, the report concludes. Patients should receive only WHO-approved high-quality medicines to minimise the risk of resistance emerging, and should be encouraged to complete their treatment courses. The report outlines the WHO's commitment to helping establish stardardised laboratory procedures, and strengthening resistance monitoring networks.