Essentiality of Judicious Use of Antibiotics

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Image: Depicting  the way AMR happens (A), how it spreads (B) and how we could contain it 

Why did you start on antibiotics? Was it necessary? Was your infection viral or bacterial?

Did you complete the course?  

Did you have loss of appetite and stomach upset?

Did you take a probiotic along with it? 

These are such routine questions which we come across, every time we are taking medication to fight a bacterial infection and THEY HAVE A LOT OF RELEVANCE. They highlight the fact that a lot of thinking has to be done and caution to be taken, when it comes to taking/administering ‘antibiotics’. While on one hand, they are the ’life-saving drugs’ for the worst of infectious diseases living beings suffer from, yet on the other hand, they need to be taken ONLY WHEN ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL’. There are several reasons behind this – like antibiotic usage not only destroys the harmful, but also the beneficial commensal bacteria present in our bodies. This affects the health of the body, since these commensals are necessary for some basic vital functions (read articles on gut commensal bacteria).  However, the major reason why antibiotic usage and that too a callous one, leads to a serious rising problem called ‘ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE’.

We are aware of the 10 x '20 Initiative, where the world is seeking searching 10 new antibiotics by year 2020. This is a critical policy, come into action since from list of the existing antibiotics, many of them are now ineffective against most pathogenic bacteria. The bacteria seem to have developed resistance to the drugs and this is because they have evolved, they have learned how to deal with the antibiotic threat. This is all a results of casual use of antibiotics.

Anti-microbial Resistance (AMR or antibiotic-resistance for bacteria) is a hovering danger facing the health sector today. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. Consequently, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.

Let us all understand the difference between use and misuse of antibiotics (even anti-microbials) and spread awareness and contribute less towards the spread of AMR menace. 


Article by:

Dr. Archana B Siva

Principal Scientist

CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology

Uppal Road, Hyderabad-500007.


Posted By : ScienceIndia Administrator
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