Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Services
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is among the greatest global health challenges of our time. AMR occurs when a micro-organism becomes resistant to an antimicrobial medicine, such as an antibiotic. Today, an estimated 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections. More alarmingly, this number is projected to accelerate towards 10 million by 2050, outstripping even cancer (Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, UK Government, 2014).
We now face the possibility of a post-antibiotic era, where even the most basic of infections could become deadly again. Medical procedures we take for granted, including surgery and chemotherapy, could become impossible.
Why is this happening?
All of this is being caused by what experts call the “Perfect Storm”. The antibiotics we rely on are rapidly losing effect (due to bacterial evolution), and new antibiotics are scarcely being developed. The time to first reported case of resistance for a new antibiotic is shorter now than ever before:
- Pre-1980: 11.3 years to first report
- Post-1980: 1.6 years to first report
This is because modern antibiotics are predominantly derived from earlier generations, by simply modifying or adding to them. As such, the bacteria are already familiar with these new antibiotics, making their task of fighting off the new drug simple.
Also, the Covid 19 pandemic has seen dramatically increased use of Quat disinfectants, known to encourage bacterial evolution. On 2 September 2021 the US CDC announced an alarming increase in resistant infections in the 4th Quarter of 2020, including a 33.8% increase in MRSA infections.
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