An Overview on the Rise of Antimicrobial Resistance and Its Potential Threat in the Control of Diseases in Developing Countries

Asmelash Tassew


The introduction of antimicrobial agents was a breakthrough health intervention that helped save millions of lives around the world and that provided a sense of control on the part of clinicians over host pathogen interactions. Despite the concrete advances in prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, there has been a parallel surge in resistance to antimicrobials that is seriously compromising the gains made over the past century. There are many other factors which contribute to the rising incidence of resistance in human pathogens.  These factors include liberal availability of antimicrobials in some countries and societal factors such as the increasing number of immunosuppressed individuals, unnecessary antimicrobial use caused by patient demands for antimicrobial treatment of viral infections, the changing population age structure, and an increase in institutional care environments such as day care centers, nursing homes and hospitals. In animals, frequent and overdose use of antibiotics as a growth promoters is the dominant cause of antimicrobial resistance. The impact of drug resistance has been causing a severe effect in the control and prevention of diseases in both human beings and livestock. Acknowledging the underlying mechanisms such as inappropriate use of antibiotics in humans and the agricultural applications of antibiotics for growth promotion and prophylaxis is a first and essential step to contain global antimicrobial resistance. However, it is also critical to consider in parallel the broad social, economic and political drivers and ethical significance of antimicrobial promotion in developing countries. Moreover, these socio-ethical factors constitute tangible targets against which public policy interventions can be developed to remedy growing concerns over the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

Keywords: Antibiotics, Antimicrobial resistance, Developing countries, Human, Livestock

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ISSN (Paper)2224-7181 ISSN (Online)2225-062X

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