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Friday, November 27, 2015

Lancet begins series on Antibiotic Resistance

Contributed by: Siddarth David & Dr. Tamhankar

Last week the Lancet began a series titled "Access to effective antimicrobials: a worldwide challenge" to look at how to preserve access for populations who need antibiotics and how to maintain the effectiveness of the antibiotics. The series urges that while renewed focus on understanding which policies will work to combat antimicrobial resistance  is critical, but it also essential to tackle lack of access to antimicrobial drugs remains a major issue. 

Dr. Narayan Laxminarayan from the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP) and colleagues used Latin Hypercube sampling to determine the impact of effective antibiotic use in 101 countries. They found that increased antibiotic delivery would avert approximately 445,000 community-acquired pneumonia deaths in children aged younger than 5 years. They also observed a growing trend in antibiotic consumption, with a 36% increase in 71 countries from 2000 to 2010 and pointed out that further progress, however, this could be hindered due to pathogen resistance, according to researchers.

Laxminarayan and colleagues concluded that the best way to fight resistance is to improve hygiene practices and water quality while strengthening public health departments rather than depending solely on antibiotic use, which is the current trend in medicine.