Anti-microbial resistance – The next pandemic

Although the link between human anti-microbial use and emergence of resistance is established, several factors contribute to the complexity of the problem such as bacteria-drug interactions, bacteria-host interactions, mutation rates of bacteria, evolution of anti-microbial resistance clones as well as transmission rates of resistance determinants between microorganisms. The emergence of resistance is likely to be specific to each drug and to each microorganism, as well as the effect of changes in its use. There is also the need for addressing an integrated approach to be adopted across both community and health-care structures.

In the light of the recent pandemic, this looming global crisis takes on even more significance due to the increase in anti-microbial use coupled with the invasive procedures that are associated with the treatment of COVID19 patients, resulting in a heightened risk of emergence as well as spread of AMR. Furthermore, data from around the world, especially Asia, has implicated that more than 70% of patients undergoing Covid-19 treatment receive anti-microbials though only 10% were actually suffering from antibacterial or antifungal infections, further contributing to the AMR crisis!