Doctors expect millions of deaths from resistant germs

Doctors expect millions of deaths from resistant germs

Resistant pathogens: Researchers fear millions of deaths worldwide
The increase in antibiotic resistance is presenting physicians with an ever increasing challenge. If such drugs no longer work, even small inflammations can become a big risk. If the problem is not brought under control soon, researchers face a horror scenario.

"Global problem that requires global solutions"
Just a few months ago, an EU Commission warned of massively increasing antibiotic resistance. As EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said at the time, “around 25,000 people die each year in the EU from bacterial infections caused by resistant germs. According to the expert, the danger is not limited to Europe, "but a global problem that requires global solutions". British researchers have now called for a worldwide fight against resistant germs.

The death toll could increase tenfold
An estimated 700,000 people already die each year from infections with pathogens for which no medication helps. Without appropriate countermeasures, the number could increase tenfold by 2050. This is the conclusion of a report commissioned by the UK government. A study carried out by the Berlin Charité on behalf of the green parliamentary group even feared last year that there could be around ten million deaths from multi-resistant germs by 2050.

Special attention to multi-resistant bacteria
As the dpa news agency reports, the latest report from Great Britain also deals with pathogens such as HIV and the malaria-causing parasites, some of which are insensitive to the available medications. However, special attention is paid to multi-resistant bacteria that no longer respond to antibiotics. If antibiotics lose their effectiveness due to the resistance, important medical procedures such as Caesarean sections, transplants or other surgical interventions could become too dangerous, the researchers write. In addition, they estimate that infections from resistant germs could result in costs of up to 90 trillion euros worldwide by 2050, unless it is dealt with beforehand.

Limit use of antibiotics worldwide
In a ten-point program, the research team led by the British economist Jim O’Neill called, among other things, to restrict the use of antibiotics in agriculture worldwide and to monitor all resistances more closely. In addition, a global fund for the development of new antibiotics and a global alliance in the fight against resistance are needed. This could arise through G20 countries and the United Nations. Last but not least, the diagnosis of diseases needs to be improved and the development of vaccines promoted. It may also help to focus more on traditional treatments. Canadian scientists from the University of British Columbia (UBC) recently reported in the journal "mBio" of the American Society for Microbiology that natural healing earth from Canada works against multi-resistant germs. The natural clay from the Kisameet Bay thus shows a "strong antibacterial activity against multi-resistant pathogens", according to the researchers.

Huge amounts of medication wasted on humans and animals
As the British report says, huge amounts of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs are being wasted worldwide on people and animals who don't need them. "We have to communicate in various ways around the world why it is critical that we stop treating our antibiotics like candy," O’Neill told the BBC. “If we don't solve the problem, we're heading towards the Middle Ages.” In Germany, antibiotic-resistant pathogens have to be reported immediately as soon as they are detected since the beginning of the month. Previously, the germs were only displayed when the disease broke out. The report was described by the MSF as a "first step in the right direction", but it was not enough. Medicines should become affordable for more people. "The current innovation system does not contribute to the development and supply of the vaccines, diagnostics and medicines that we actually need," said Marco Alves, the organization's medication expert. "And if there are, they are often priceless or not suitable for use in developing countries." (Ad)

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