Drug-resistant bacteria pose a problem to the prevention of diseases and thereby to human healthy living. Drug-resistant is not something to be taken easily. Rather it is a serious problem at hand to tackle with. It has gained momentum finally and the UN General Assembly is to meet in New York to discuss and deliberate a response to the looming crisis of antimicrobial resistance.
The researchers have been trying hard to arrive at new kinds of medicine to treat pathogens. However, in vain, as the drug-resistant bacteria are strong to battle with. Primarily it is because there is lack of joint efforts to combat the threat.
Drug resistance has been an issue for a long time. Even with the introduction of penicillin, bacteria have been adapting to resist the drugs formulated to fight them. However, the fast pace of drug development was able to counter this threat to a certain extent.
Last year, doctors reported a new strain of bacteria resistant to the last-resort drug colistin. Such a situation represents a fear among physicians of even our strongest drug becoming ineffective. Luckily, this colistin-resistant strain looks like it can be beaten with other drugs. But it is only a matter of time before different resistances meet in one bacterial strain.
Researchers all around the world are looking at different angles to approach this matter. Some are looking at boosting antibodies to combat the bacteria. Others see bacteriophages (bacterial parasites) as a good weapon against the bacteria. Still, others are researching probiotics to combat bacteria, or finding a way to starve the invaders. Regardless of the avenues taken, more attention and cooperation is needed to resist further resistance.
This UN meeting may be a signal of the world finally being ready to take this issue seriously. Keiji Fukuda explained to Scientific American,“The previous discussions have been held at the level of ministers of health and agriculture but this meeting will take this up to the level of prime ministers and presidents.” Keiji Fukuda is a special representative of the WHO Director-General for Antimicrobial Resistance.
While no actual formal declaration or commitment is expected from the meeting, it is a sign of political commitment to the issue, and could possibly trigger more financing.