Antimicrobial Resistance: When the cure becomes the disease

Antimicrobial Resistance: When the cure becomes the disease

If AMR were just one disease that threatened to kill hundreds of thousands of Europeans every year by 2050 Our politicians would be leaving no stone unturned to make sure that that didn’t happen. In 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming, this guy revolutionized modern medicine when he discovered the world’s first antibiotic. But it was this very same man who warned us that this discovery would ‘begin an era of abuses’ Fast forward to the 21st century, and this prophecy is becoming reality. With the excess use of antibiotics in humans and in agriculture, leading to infections becoming resistant to treatment. This phenomenon is known as antimicrobial resistance or AMR. In this episode we are traveling to two different countries exploring the abuse of antibiotics in humans and agriculture. We travel to Romania, where AMR is already a cause of death. And to Belgium to visit an antibiotic-free farm. People have heard of superbugs, people have heard of hospital acquired infections which are difficult to treat with the antibiotics that we have available today. Essentially this is what AMR is and that is why it is such a serious problem because it means the drugs that we take for granted right now are becoming less effective as the bugs become resistant to the drugs we commonly use today. What a future without effective antibiotics looks like around the world is almost unimaginable. The projections are 10 million death every year worldwide by 2050, including hundreds of thousands in Europe. This is a public health catastrophe, unless we do something about it now. Romania is considered to be ‘in the red zone’ with some of the highest rates of antimicrobial resistance within Europe. On an average day, 600 000 Romanians take antibiotics. In the EU, an average of 7% of antibiotics are taken without prescription. Whereas in Romania, this figure is 3 times more at 20%, the highest rate in any European country. In October 2015, the Colectiv night club in Bucharest burned down during a concert 64 people died in the fire or in hospitals making this the worst tragedy in Romania’s recent history. We went to meet Eugen and the Asociatia Colectiv, to find out how this story was linked to AMR. My name is Eugen Iancu. I’m the father of one of the children
who died in Colectiv. Actually he died subsequently to the fire
in Collective, after three weeks. But I want to say that in any
civilised country in this world, my kid would’ve survived
having these kind of burns. He died in Romania just because of bacteria. Bacteria that he got from the first second
he was admitted in the hospital As soon as he was admitted in the hospital, he was given three kinds
of broad-spectrum antibiotics. It was a prevention they took, knowing he could get
these bacteria in that hospital. Within seven days,
four children died in the same hospital. All of them infected by bacteria. Eugen introduced us to Silviu, a young survivor of the Colectiv fire. I am Silviu Ciocanelli, I am 23 years old And I like to make music, I’m in a band What’s your band called? Familia Jeff Colectiv was a club where I was before at a concert of one of my favorite bands. I didn’t expect anything to happen rather than good music it was a very good band And then the shitstorm happened fire was raining on us from the ceiling and… it was quite difficult to get out. I got into the first car that was going to a hospital I passed out and after 3 months I woke up in the Netherlands. I was severly burned, my hands were burned my back, my head. and… I almost died to infections. The skin kind of healed but the body was still infected with bacteria. I was in complete isolation for a couple of months. I understood that they gave me the strongest antibiotic possible, like Colistin Colistin is known as a last line antibiotic it’s a drug of last resort. So if you have an infection which is proving resistant or difficult to treat by the standard antibiotic Colistin is the one that your doctor would fall back on. The trouble is, Colistin has been used routinely around the world in intensive agriculture, especially for pigs and especially in China. Just a few months ago, Colistin resistance was found in China and, much quicker than anybody expected, within just a few months, Colistin resistance was found on every continent. And we also need to look at agriculture as a major cause of antibiotic resistance. In the US, about 80% of all the antibiotics used are going to animals and livestock rather than to people, to patients. In Europe it’s about half and half. Next we travel to Belgium, to meet Jean-Pierre and hear about his initiative to go antibiotic free. The less antibiotics you use,
the stronger the pigs will be. Their immune system
is so developed that… if a bacteria comes, they will resist to it, they will overcome it. The difference between
a conventional farm and us is that we make all our food in the farm, based on the cereals
we produced on the farm. But the difference with industrial farms,
is that they buy ready-made food. But us, we put anything that we want in it. So if we decide not to put antibiotics,
we don’t put them. Everything is in nature. But we go way too far,
we unlearned this. So that we they can
sell us industrial products. We don’t want to poison people. It’s a matter of respect for the clients. The clients respect us
by coming to buy our products, And we respect them by not adding
any harmful products. That’s all. Tell me about your organisation. After Colectiv, I realised
something needs to be changed. So then we said we need to start an association. Some of the parents of the deceased kids
joined the association. Also some of the victims. We need to pressure the State
for some changes to happen. We tried, together with the Health Ministry, To start a campaign for informing the public, the family doctors
and the hospital doctors. We tried to discourage the usage of antibiotics. Unfortunately in Romania,
everyone is taking antibiotics for really anything Even for flus, headaches, we take antibiotics. What will happen if Romania doesn’t tackle resistance? We will end up not having medicine
that can save us. What AMR means is that routine minor infections, a cut on your hand, a chest infection, a urinary tract infection, might become fatal if we don’t have effective antibiotics to treat them. It also means that routine surgical procedures, very normal everyday procedures, minor operations or knee replacements, hip replacements even childbirth. These become much more risky and could even be fatal in themselves if we can’t count on our antibiotics to keep us safe. Because of AMR making them ever less effective, we’re really in trouble. Within the EU, not enough is being done to combat AMR. Big pharmaceutical and agricultutal companies are pushing for ‘voluntary measures’ rather than concrete regulations to reduce the abuse of antibiotics. The European Union has recently adopted an action plan on antimicrobial resistance, which doesn’t go far enough and doesn’t go fast enough to tackle the scope or the urgency of the problem that we’re facing. I think that’s because politicians find it pretty intangible. We’re not talking about one disease, but we’re talking about resistance to bacteria in a broad broad spectrum of infections. With such a wide-ranging problem that needs responses from all kinds of sectors. So in Europe we do have some really good examples of best practice in curbing antimicrobial resistance. Sweden is a leader, the Netherlands is a leader, the UK has done fantastic things. Which is about prudent use and reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics. They’ve been really effective, but the trouble is, they are going to these huge lengths but if their neighbors and the rest of Europe, other countries around the world don’t make the same efforts at the same time, We’re still going to be left with massive holes in our safety net. Antimicrobial resistance doesn’t stop at borders. It’s a cross-border phenomenon and a problem in any country is going to be everybody’s problem. I saw the difference between a regulated system and a less regulated system like, the Romanian health system doesn’t have any protocols for the burnt patients when the Belgian one has like, I don’t know, 60. That regulation helped me be alive today. Broadly speaking, regulation could be a key tool in reducing resistance. But with AMR, it’s complicated. Because resistant microbes can be found in humans, in food and even the sea, we need comprehensive regulation and we need it now. Is there anything else that you’d like to say? Find us on Facebook! Familia Jeff

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Phagocytosis of bacteriophage with admin tazonbactum Fatalities test dose Sub cutaneous Significance Open Google Doc Rajendra sheregar And see images videos litreture medical science institution

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *