What Are The Main Causes Of Antibiotic Resistance ?
Antimicrobial resistance is mainly due to the consumption of antibiotics by livestock. Indeed, animals consume ten times more antibiotics than humans. This is largely related to the over-use and misuse of antibiotics in livestock, but also aquaculture and crops. Antibiotics are also used as growth factors. This practice has been banned in Europe since 2006, but unfortunately perpetuated in many other countries.
The United States is estimated to have more than 2 million people infected with antibiotic-resistant germs each year, resulting in 23,000 deaths. More than 25,000 deaths in Europe and 700,000 worldwide are due to multi-resistance.
Some countries, such as Italy, Greece, China, India, the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, are in a critical situation, with prevalence of enterobacterial resistance to 3rd generation cephalosporins, and sometimes carbapenems [a class of potent antibiotics], of 50-80%. In total, highly resistant bacteria, even resistant to several classes of antibiotics ("superbugs") are frequent there.
Another major aspect of the scourge of the emergence of resistant bacteria is the chemical pollution of water by antibiotics. The presence of antibiotics, and therefore of resistant bacteria, in surface waters can originate in health centers but also in the production of active ingredients (because of their failing treatment plants).
These surface waters contaminated by pathogenic bacteria are also used for watering crops, and in some countries for animal and human consumption. Humans can ingest plants contaminated with resistant germs.
In China, the presence of antibiotics has been detected in the tap water of individuals. Thus, it has been shown that waters downstream from pharmaceutical plants contain levels 10,000 times higher than the doses used in humans. [source]
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