Antimicrobial resistance Current Affairs - 2019

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Researchers isolate a bacterium in chicken transmitting multidrug resistant pathogen to humans

Researchers from Hyderabad have isolated Helicobacter pullorum bacterium in chicken that may be source of transmission of the multidrug resistance pathogen to humans.

This is the first evidence on prevalence and isolation of H. pullorum multidrug resistance bacterium from broilers and free-range chicken sold in Indian markets.

What is Helicobacter pullorum?

Helicobacter pullorum is a pathogen commonly found in the liver and gut of poultry birds including chickens. It is untreatable and may be cancer-causing. It is being suspected that H. pullorum is resistant wide range of antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins,   sulfonamides and macrolides

What are ill effects on human health?

Infected chicken with Helicobacter pullorum bacterium when consumed are known to cause gastrointestinal infections in humans.  Besides, Helicobacter pullorum is known to produce a cancercausing agent called cytolethal distending toxin. This toxin damages the DNA and interferes with the cell cycle. Since this multidrug resistance bacterium also infects the liver, it increases the risk of cancer in the organ.

193 countries sign declaration to stamp out drug-resistant infections

The 193 countries of the United Nations (UN) have signed a landmark declaration to rid the world of drug-resistant infections or Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or superbugs.

It is the fourth time a UN declaration has been reached on a health issue, following HIV in 2001, non-communicable diseases in 2011 and Ebola in 2013.

The signatory countries now have two years to submit action plan. These submitted plans are expected to address the seriousness and scope of the situation. It will also agree on sustainable, multisectoral approaches to addressing antimicrobial resistance.

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.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) 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.