Bacteria which are resistant to antibiotics have appeared in every part of the world and could lead to a situation where even minor infection can become life threatening. The alarming scenario has been described in detail in a report published on Wednesday by ‘WHO’.


‘WHO’ has conducted its first global survey pertaining to the Drug resistance problem. ‘WHO’ in its findings have reported that it has seen a high incidence of drug resistant E Coli bacteria. E Coli is the common causative pathogen in meningitis and infections of the skin, blood and the kidneys. In many regions the conventional antibiotics have become useless in more than half the patients. The WHO report also points out to incidence of resistance in other strains of bacteria causing pneumonia and gonorrhea.

Dr. Keiji Fukuda, one of the agency’s assistant director-generals, warned that unless there is urgent action, common infections which have been treatable for many years will once again start killing persons. WHO has however recognized the fact that the data obtained from countries could not be validated.

The worrying scenario has long been predicted by experts who had been trying to wake up the medical community to the dangers of drug resistance. Pathogens causing diseases such as Tuberculosis, Malaria and Flu are all becoming redundant due to drug resistance. Britain’s Chief Medical Officer last year, Dr. Sally Davies described resistance as a ‘‘ticking time bomb’’.

Antibiotics have come a long way since the discovery of Penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928. A number of antibiotics have been introduced since then but no new class of drugs has been discovered in the last 30 years.

Dr. Jennifer Cohn, a medical director at Doctors Without Borders, in a statement that there is an urgent need for monitoring of antibiotic resistance. WHO has said that antibiotics should be used only on prescription from a qualified doctor and patients should take the full prescription.

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