How to deal with antibiotic resistance

Molecular biologist, virologist, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergey Netesov spoke about measures to combat antibiotic resistance – the main problem facing the medical community.

According to the Russian virologist, which he expressed in an interview with Sputnik radio, first of all, the over-the-counter use of antibacterial drugs should be abandoned. The task of scientists around the world is the development of new drugs:

“Actually, antibiotics are substances that bacteria themselves produce in order to free themselves of an ecological niche from other bacteria. Thus, they (bacteria) carry genes for both production and resistance to these same antibiotics. When humanity begins to use antibiotics for itself, and even in large doses, the genes for this antibiotic resistance begin to be transmitted from one bacteria to another.”

Early and unreasonable prescription of antibiotics may not help, but worsen the patient’s condition and significantly prolong the duration of the illness. In addition, according to the expert, now there are bacteria that are resistant not to one or two specific antibiotics, but to different drugs:

“In order to overcome them, in order to rid a sick person of them, antibiotics of the second, third and now the fourth generation are needed.”

To combat antibiotic resistance, doctors need to carefully control the prescription of antibacterial drugs, and scientists need to develop new ones. Netesov warns:

“It is precisely the widespread use of antibiotics in every case that leads to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that affect humans. There are drugs that in the future will be able to replace antibiotics, for example, bacterial viruses – bacteriophages. Bacterial resistance to them develops very slowly, so this group of drugs needs to be developed.”

Earlier in the scientific journal The Lancet, a study was published according to which many diseases that were previously easily treatable with antibiotics (pneumonia, sepsis) are now increasingly fatal. The biggest problem facing the medical community right now is antibiotic resistance. In 2019 alone, more than 1.27 million people died as a result of direct infection with the bacteria, the study shows. Scientists urge physicians around the world to wisely prescribe antibiotics.

Earlier, Doctor of Medical Sciences Tatyana Bandurina explained in an interview with Izvestia the danger of self-medication with antibiotics for COVID-19. She noted that without effective bowel protection, antibiotic-associated diarrhea occurs.

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