IMA calls for strict action to prevent antibiotic misuse

Admitting that the Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) findings about chicken being fed on antibiotics were “alarming’ but also something that public health experts have long suspected, the Indian Medical Association on Thursday demanded an immediate clamp-down on the misuse of antibiotics.

Its office-bearer Narendra Saini said the Association, which is the largest non-government organisation of doctors, has started a campaign on its website on the rational use of antibiotics. “Lack of data on the use of antibiotics and drug resistance is a major problem in India,” he remarked.

Stating that it was necessary to create an integrated surveillance system to monitor antibiotics use and antibiotics resistance trends in humans, animals and the food chain, Dr. Saini added: “A national-level database should be developed and kept in the public domain.”

“Repeated and prolonged exposure to antibiotics by natural selection lead to the emergence of resistant strains of bacteria,” said Dr. Saini.

“These mutated robust strains bypass toxic effects of antibiotics, making them ineffective. They can easily spread among the flock raised in squalor and contaminate the food chain. They can also alter the genetic material of other bacteria, often pathogenic ones, making them resistant to several drugs and resulting in a global pandemic,” he added.

The Association also presented data from various hospitals in India where, it claimed, there was enough evidence to show that “very high level of resistance was present against the antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, tetracycline and doxycyclin”.

Bacteria such as escherichia coli, klebsiella spp., pseudomonas spp., enterobacter spp. and enterococcus spp. – which are responsible for a large number of infections in humans – are found resistant. “Residues of antibiotics present in meat can easily find their way into the human body, where they can create resistant microbes,” noted a release issued by the Association.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 7:34:01 PM |

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