Blue Dot & Beyond has its first dimension which shares and analyzes how our beloved BLUE DOT earth is increasingly being threatened by man made climate change and how we can create a sustainable future for humanity and our planet. The second dimension of my blog is dedicated to sharing how humanity is exploring solar system & universe both through human spaceflight and deep space observation.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
My new HuffPost Piece: Antibiotic Resistance Grows Dangerously As India Remains Unprepared
Dear All, below is URL and verbatim text & images as copied from Huffington Post's website where I'm a contributing writer. This is my latest article on a very critical public health issue globally & especially for India
Teixobactin--that's the name of the new antibiotic, the first one discovered recently since 1987 and is being touted as the solution to an imminent global healthcare disaster that most of us don't even know about. But teixobactin or similar future discoveries may still not work in India, the biggest hub of the growing menace.
Scanning Electro Micorgraph image of one of the most dangerous antibiotic (methicillin)-resistant bacteria Staphylococcus aureus; Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control/ Janice Carr/ Deepak Mandhalapu, M.H.S.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
Deaths attributable to antimicrobial resistance every year compared to other major causes of death as per AMR review; Courtesy: Created by Jim O'Neill Chairman of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance - Licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
But, teixobactin and similar breakthroughs cannot save India from imminent disaster unless steps are taken on war footing to ensure such breakthroughs are implemented effectively. Antibiotic resistance in India has two dimensions--pre-infection and post infection.
The problem is compounded by incessant antibiotics use in poultry and animal husbandry. A June 2014 notification by India's agriculture ministry highlighted how indiscriminate antibiotics use especially in feeding poultry and animals to increase their weights left antibiotic residues in dairy and meat products. Post consumption, these residues can develop antibiotic resistance in humans.
The post infection scenario is no better. Doctors in millions of private clinics and small hospitals prescribe excessive antibiotics owing to all illegal culture of 'gifts' (read commissions) from drug companies. The most ignorant practice is antibiotic prescriptions and over the counter sales for common cold, flu and sore throat, caused overwhelmingly by viruses not bacteria.