World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Posted in News and Notices [Thursday, November 19th, 2015 ]

World Antibiotic Awareness Week from 16 to 22 November 2015.

Key facts

  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health today. It can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.
  • Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
  • A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea—are becoming harder to treat as the  antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.
  • Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality.

Antibiotic resistance is a global epidemic that everyone – health care providers, patients and caregivers – can help to prevent.

Q. How is Antibiotic Resistance Defined?
Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to withstand the antimicrobial power of antibiotics. It is when the antibiotics that used to cure an infection no longer work. Antibiotic resistance is a global threat. Infections with drug-resistant bacteria may lead to longer hospital stays, more costly care, and an increased risk of death.

Q. What are Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria?
Antibiotic resistant bacteria cannot be fully inhibited or killed by an antibiotic. The drug may have been able to cure an infection before the resistance occurred, but now is not fully effective. Bacteria become resistant to antibiotics by adapting their structure or function in some way that prevents them from being killed by the antibiotic. Examples of bacteria that have become antibiotic resistant include those that cause skin infections, meningitis, sexually transmitted diseases and lung infections such as pneumonia.

Q. Why is Antibiotic Resistance So Important?
Antibiotic resistance can lead to a life-threatening bacterial infection. One reason bacteria are becoming resistant is because antibiotics are sometimes inappropriately used for an illness caused by a virus. An antibiotic cannot cure a viral infection. Examples of illnesses that are caused by a virus include most sore throats, coughs, colds and runny noses, sinusitis, bronchitis, and the flu. Talk to your doctor about your illness, discuss whether it is a bacterial or viral illness, and ask if you really need an antibiotic.

Q. Why Can’t Viral Infections Be Treated With Antibiotics?
Most viral illnesses do not need special medication and are “self-limiting”, meaning the patient’s own immune system can fight off the virus. A patient with a viral illness should rest, drink plenty of fluids and treat symptoms with over-the-counter medications as needed. Sometimes, in extended viral illnesses, bacteria may invade and lead to a “secondary infection.” If a fever occurs, or the illness worsens over several days, a health care provider should be contacted.

Q. How Do Bacteria Become Resistant to Antibiotics?
The mechanism of bacterial resistance may happen in several ways: bacteria can neutralize the antibiotic before it has an effect, bacteria may be able to pump the antibiotic out, bacteria could change the site (receptor) where the antibiotic normally works, or bacteria can mutate and transfer genetic material to other bacteria. Common antibiotic resistant bacteria include Staphylococcus aureus (serious skin infections) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis of the lungs).

Q. What Can We Do to Help Stop the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance?
In an illness where the infection is due to a virus, such as a cough, cold or the flu, patients should avoid asking or demanding that their health care provider prescribe an antibiotic. The antibiotic will not cure the viral infection, and the patient may have side effects from the unnecessary medication. For many viral infections, it may take 7 to 10 days to start feeling better.

Q. Should I Always Finish My Antibiotics?
You should finish your antibiotic regimens unless your doctor tells you otherwise. If you do have leftover antibiotics from a previous illness, do not reuse them without instructions from your doctor. If you reuse an old antibiotic for what you think is an infection without seeing your doctor first, it may turn out that it’s not the right antibiotic, it’s simply not needed, or there may not be enough medication to fully treat the infection – all of this can worsen antibiotic resistance.

Q. Can I Share My Antibiotics With Someone Else?
Do not use antibiotics that were prescribed for someone else, and don’t share your antibiotics with others. Even a similar bacterial illness, like a respiratory infection, can be caused by different bacteria and require different antibiotics. Antibiotic resistant bacteria can lead to a worsened infection and also spread to others if the infection is not treated correctly. Finishing the full course of antibiotic is important to help prevent resistance and to keep the infection from recurring.

Q. How can People help tackle antibiotics resistance?

  • Hand washing, and avoiding close contact with sick people to prevent transmission of bacterial infections and viral infections such as influenza or rotavirus, and using condoms to prevent the transmission of sexually-transmitted infections.
  • Getting vaccinated, and keeping vaccinations up to date;
  • Using antimicrobial drugs only when they are prescribed by a certified health professional;
  • Completing the full treatment course (which in the case of antiviral drugs may require life-long treatment), even if they feel better;
  • Never sharing antimicrobial drugs with others or using leftover prescriptions.

We at Siddhi Polyclinic have introduced the fully automated most advance and latest technology for identification of Micro-organisms and Antibiotics Susceptibility Test (AST) with Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) value, which is considered gold standard. Performing AST helps in determining best and accurate dose of antibiotic. AST interpretation is based on CLSI guidelines. Species level identification of more than 350 clinically relevant bacteria & fungi is possible. It is equipped with Advanced Expert System giving higher confidence in every test results. It Detects Emerging Resistance which is a potential cause for treatment failure. So far, cases of ESBL, MRSA, MDR-TB has been detected.