According to a recent K-Research poll commissioned by ISA in collaboration with the Greek Society of Chemotherapy, antibiotic consumption has increased by 50% compared to 2015.
75% of Greeks took antibiotics last year for symptoms suggestive of a viral infection (sore throat, cough, runny nose, fever). However, in these cases, they are completely useless, since antibiotics do not “work” against viruses.
But even in hospitals, the use of antibiotics such as carbopen and colistin is higher than in other European countries. Eleni Jamarellou, EKPA Professor of Pathology, Specialist in Infectious Diseases and President of the Hellenic Society of Chemotherapy, and Kyriaki Kanellakopoulou, Professor of Pathology, EKPA Infectious Disease Specialist and Board Member of the Hellenic Society of Chemotherapy, speak about this. The experts issued a statement to mark World Antibiotic Awareness Week.
“The situation in our country is quite difficult, we are the first in Europe to abuse antibiotics and, of course, first of all, we have a big problem with microbial resistance,” said President of ΕΔΔΥΠΠΥ and ΙΣΑ Georgios Patulis.
“Unfortunately, our country holds a double sad leadership among European countries: the highest consumption of antibiotics in society concerning penicillins, cephalosporins, macrolides and quinolones, as shown in official ECDC reports since 2014, and the highest resistance of microorganisms to relatively new antibiotics. both outpatient and inpatient, ”said Jamarella and Canellakopoulou.
But what is resistance, from which more than 700,000 people die each year from infections with antibiotic-resistant microbes, and how is it caused?
“Microbes, like living microorganisms, protect themselves from invaders-antibiotics. In the ensuing battle, bacteria activate mechanisms that neutralize the antibiotics we receive, while multi-resistant strains colonize our normal flora, so there is a constant risk of future infections with multi-resistant microbes, ”said the two professors.
The experts added that in hospitals, the use of “contact measures”, as well as the observance of hand hygiene by all medical personnel, before and after each contact with a patient should not be neglected. Because, while antibiotic abuse selects resistant clones of microbes, unwashed hands spread them to the patient and his immediate environment, and ultimately a vicious circle occurs. At the same time, it should not be overlooked that antibiotics as drugs are not harmless, as they cause side effects such as allergic reactions and other syndromes, even fatal.
The problem is even greater when one considers that the “end of antibiotics” has reached, as has been officially announced by the global pharmaceutical industry and the competent authorities, since in the last decade it does not appear that “new generations” of antibiotics are active. They noted that in the multi-resistant microbes that we created by over-consuming them.
Is there a solution to the problem of restoring the effectiveness of antibiotics?
Yes, the scientists answer, and this concerns the cessation of their unnecessary intake for 3-6 months, the correct diagnosis of infections and the consultation of your doctor. “Only then will germs become sensitive again to drugs that fight them. Let’s think that today one patient worldwide dies every 45 seconds from a highly resistant microbe, and that by 2050, 10 million people will die annually! compared to those who will die from cancer, ”the speakers concluded.