Antimicrobial resistance Current Affairs

ICMR partners with Pfizer to combat antimicrobial resistance

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have inked MoU to establish a ‘Centre to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance’ in New Delhi. The centre will help in combating the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in India.

Key Facts

The centre will help to expand ICMR’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme across country in phased manner with focus on smaller in-patient centres and also enhance its existing AMR Surveillance Programme by training specialists to run expanded network. It will also focus on awareness and advocacy programme using media and non-media platforms to disseminate information on antibiotic resistance and promote rational use of antibiotics.

Significance

The partnership will help to implement series of comprehensive interventions, ranging from AMR stewardship programmes for nursing homes. It will scale up ICMR’s existing AMR surveillance programme by training specialists to run expanded India surveillance network that will cover both private and government hospitals to collate, analyse and publish drug resistance data across all geographies in India.

National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (NAP-AMR)

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in April 2017 had finalised a NAP-AMR. It spells out six strategic priorities including improving awareness through communication, strengthening surveillance, education and training and promoting investments for AMR initiatives.

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Scientists develop new way to fight drug resistant superbugs

Scientists from the University of Birmingham and Newcastle University in the UK have new way of removing antibodies from the blood stream.

This method has potential to reduce chronic infections that may help humans in the fight against drug resistant superbugs.

Key Facts
  • Scientists had used a process known as plasmapheresis that is somewhat like kidney dialysis. It involved the removal, treatment, and return of blood plasma from circulation.
  • It was done five times in a week in order to remove antibody from two patients with bronchiectasis who had suffered with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections resistant to many antibiotics.
  • Using this process, scientists replaced antibodies in these patients with those from blood donations. This treatment restored ability for the patients’ blood to kill their infecting Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.
What is Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or superbugs?

Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs. These microorganisms are also termed as “superbugs”. As a result, the medicines or drugs become ineffective and infections persist in the body futher increasing the risk of spread to others.

Threats

AMR has become one of the biggest threats to global health and endangers other major priorities, such as human development. All around the world, many common infections have become resistant to antimicrobial medicines used to treat them which resulted in longer illnesses and more deaths. At the same time, not enough new antimicrobial drugs especially antibiotics are being developed to replace older and increasingly ineffective ones.

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