Antibiotics Current Affairs - 2019
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ICMR releases Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines to ensure judicious use of antibiotics in hospitals
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released Antimicrobial Stewardship Guidelines to advise hospitals in setting up Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes (AMSP) to ensure judicious use of antibiotics in healthcare facilities. AMS guidelines aims to provide guidance in setting up structure and processes of AMSP in healthcare institutions, discusses essential elements of antimicrobial stewardship and diagnostic stewardship and provide information on tools that can be used to measure progress.
What is AMSP?
It is hospital-based programmes dedicated to improving antibiotic use. It is helpful in improving quality of patient care and safety through increased infection cure rates, reducing treatment failures and increasing the frequency of correct prescription for therapy and prophylaxis
Need for AMSP
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major public health challenge. Since inappropriate use of antibiotics is rampant in India, there is urgent need to improve antibiotic use in hospitals. The increasing consumption of antibiotics is one of key drivers of antimicrobial resistance seen in bugs.
Some of the key factors driving antimicrobial resistance in our country are irrational prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics, poor regulations around sale of antibiotics, self-medication, lack of education and awareness regarding responsible use of antibiotics.
National Health Policy, 2017, terms antimicrobial resistance as one of key healthcare issues and prioritises development of guidelines regarding antibiotic use, limiting over-the-counter use of antibiotics and restricting use of antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock. It is important to use the existing drugs judiciously.
Scientists from The Rockefeller University in New York have reported discovery of a new class of antibiotics called malacidins. It has been produced by microorganisms living in soil and dirt and is capable of killing off several antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
The new family of antibiotics comes from molecules present in large variety of soils. Scientists had analysed more than 1000 unique soil samples across US to better understand how new class of antibiotics is produced and how it can be exploited for fighting bacteria. They had used DNA information that encodes production of antibiotic in daptomycin to study it. This discovery could be a useful weapon in field of medicines.
Malacidins are distinctive class of antibiotics that are commonly encoded in soil microbiomes. They have never been reported in culture-based NP (Natural Products) discovery efforts.
Malacidins are active against multidrug-resistant pathogens, sterilise methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infections in animal wound model and did not select for resistance in laboratory conditions.
The malacidins was tested on rats with MRSA skin infections. The condition was cured, and even after 20 days of continued contact with malacidins, the rodents did not experience any side effects.
Malacidins only target gram-positive bacteria with a very thick cell wall. It is ineffective against gram-negative bacteria which cause cholera, pneumonia, sexually transmitted diseases, and plague. Thus, it does not make it universal cure against all bacteria.