Grow­ing health prob­lem

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS -

What is AMR? Here are some ques­tions an­swered about the sub­ject.

What are an­timi­cro­bial drugs?

Th­ese are the drugs which de­stroy harm­ful mi­crobes. An­tibi­otics are the best known of th­ese drugs, but there are oth­ers, such as an­tivi­rals, an­ti­malar­ial drugs and an­ti­fun­gals.

What is an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance?

AMR oc­curs when mi­cro-or­gan­isms such as bac­te­ria, viruses, fungi and par­a­sites evolve to re­sist the drugs that com­bat the in­fec­tions that they cause. As a re­sult, stan­dard treat­ments be­come in­ef­fec­tive, in­fec­tions per­sist and may spread. When the mi­cro-or­gan­isms be­come re­sis­tant to an­timi­cro­bial drugs they are of­ten re­ferred to as “su­per­bugs”.

How does this hap­pen?

The WHO says that an­timi­cro­bial re­sis­tance oc­curs nat­u­rally over time, usu­ally through ge­netic changes. But other fac­tors have helped to ac­cel­er­ate the process such as the “mis­use and overuse” of an­timi­cro­bial drugs. Other fac­tors in­clude poor in­fec­tion con­trol, in­ad­e­quate san­i­tary con­di­tions and in­ap­pro­pri­ate food-han­dling.

What in­fec­tions should not be treated with an­tibi­otics?

Vi­ral in­fec­tions should not be treated with an­tibi­otics. Com­mon in­fec­tions caused by viruses in­clude colds, flu, some sore throats, most coughs and bron­chi­tis, many si­nus in­fec­tions and many ear in­fec­tions.

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