WHO warnings over antibiotic drug resistance

The World Health Organization (WHO) have recently published a report warning of the dangers of antibiotic drug resistance.1

The report has been based on information gathered on general antimicrobial resistance in 129 countries. The report specifies that drugs have been ineffective in controlling the rates of a number of infections, including E coli, salmonella and types of pneumonia.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when drugs are no longer as effective against infections, with a common example being the "superbug" MRSA. This resistance often occurs because drugs are overused, prescribed inappropriately (often for viral infections such as sore throats, coughs and colds) or not used correctly or for the right amount of time.

The WHO has made three recommendations to address this problem, which includes developing a worldwide standard way to monitor drug resistance. They also want to improve the surveillance of antimicrobial resistance, as well as improve the collection and sharing of knowledge over the issue.


1. World Health Organization. Antimicrobial Resistance - Global Report on surveillance (PDF, 3.9 Mb). April 2014