*The translation of this article in French and Portuguese has been made through machine translation and has not been edited yet. we apologise for any inaccuracies.
In October´s M3 Pulse survey, we asked over 4100 healthcare professionals globally for their opinions on antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial resistance, infections and the overuse of antibiotics in healthcare and animal farming. Read the M3 Pulse results here!
In this article you will learn:
Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today, according to WHO. Antibiotic resistance, also known as the silent pandemic, is now one of the leading causes of death globally. In the beginning of 2022, The Lancet published a study estimating that in 2019, 4.95 million deaths were caused by illnesses in which antimicrobial resistance (AMR) played a part. Of those, 1.27 million people died from infections caused directly by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
By analysing common pathogens (bacteria, viruses, and other micro-organisms that cause diseases), and the rise of antibiotic resistance, it was estimated in 2016 that deaths from AMR could surge up to 10 million each year by 2050, at a cumulative cost to global economic output of $100 trillion USD*
What Is Antibiotic Resistance?
Antimicrobial is an umbrella term for medicines that are used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals, and plants, and includes:
- Antibiotics: used to fight bacterial infections in people and animals
- Antivirals: help the body fight off certain viruses that can cause disease
- Antifungals: used to treat fungal infections
- Antiparasitics: used to manage and treat infections caused by parasites, in humans and animals
Antimicrobial resistance, or in short AMR, is a term that describes what happens when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites evolve and no longer respond to antimicrobial medicines. This makes it increasingly difficult to treat infections.
Antibiotic resistance is a more specific term that describes what happens when bacteria specifically change in response to the use of antibiotics. It is the bacteria, not humans or animals, that becomes antibiotic-resistant, which makes the infections that those bacteria cause harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.
As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective which increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death.
Opinions on Antibiotic Resistance From Over 4155 Healthcare Professionals
Last month, 4155 HCP panel members globally shared their opinions in our M3 Pulse survey about antibiotic resistance. We asked for their views on antibiotic resistance and the overuse of antibiotics in farming as well as in human medicine. Here’s how they answered!
- Many healthcare professionals think tighter antibiotic restrictions aren’t the answer. Instead, they believe that the focus should be on raising public awareness and implementing better education for healthcare professionals on how to better use and prescribe antibiotics.
- Some argue that we need to implement global guidelines that are more accurate, and regularly updated that support the use of antibiotics in both healthcare and animal farming, whilst considering the implications of increased antibiotic resistance. This is especially relevant in developing countries where guidelines and regulations for antibiotic use differ.
- Another opinion is that more research should be focused on probiotics and other natural treatment options.
- Concerns were also raised about telehealth prescriptions and how individual consumption can be controlled when patients self-medicate with antibiotics.
*Please select your language
- 20% of respondents believe that further research into new antibiotic treatments for infections resistant to antibiotics is required.
- 18% claim that antibiotics are still being overused in human medicine and usage should be restricted significantly.
- 17% think that tighter regulation of the use of antibiotics in all aspects of medicine is required.
- 15% stated that antibiotic use in farming should be reduced globally.
- Only 1% believe that antibiotics are not overused.
Why Is The Overuse of Antibiotics in Healthcare and Animal Farming a Global Issue?
Antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines are becoming increasingly ineffective as drug-resistance spreads globally and the development of new antimicrobial treatments is inadequate to address the mounting threat of AMR.
WHO on the overuse of antibiotics in healthcare and animal farming:
What do you think about antibiotic resistance and the overuse of antibiotics in healthcare and animal farming? Share your comments in the section below and register for free to participate in our next M3 Pulse survey!
You May Also Like to Read About Healthcare Professionals' Views and Opinions on:
Since May 2022, a surge of Monkeypox cases has been reported in multiple countries where the disease is not endemic. In our latest M3 Pulse survey, we asked 3,050 healthcare professionals if they are concerned. Check out the results!