The resistance to antibiotics among the human pathogens is spreading like a wild fire and will have serious consequences on the spread of infections and how our doctors treat them in the future.
It is estimated that by 2050 around 10 million people will die worldwide, as a result of increased resistance to antibiotics. Till now the major reason given for this rising resistance in humans is overuse of antibiotics. But now scientists have come up with new findings which show that there are also other environmental factors which might play a significant role or facilitate this increasing resistance to antibiotics.
A study done by a team of researchers from US and Canada, have found that antibiotic resistance is also linked to rising local temperatures and higher population density.
The study which has been published in Nature Climate Change just few days back, found that common bacteria such as Escherichia coli, which is common cause of urinary tract infections (UTI); Klebsiella pneumonia, which causes various pneumonia & blood infections and Staphylococcus aureus, which generally causes skin infections, showed more resistance to antibiotics in regions and places where local temperature was higher and population density more.
This study revealed that a minimum increase of 10℃ is associated with a 4.2% increase in antibiotic resistance in E.Coli, a 2.2% rise in antibiotic resistant K.Pneumonia and a 3.6% rise in resistant strain of S.aureous. Similarly an increase of 10,000 people per square mile causes a 3% increase in antibiotic resistance in E.coli and a 6% increase in K.pneumoniae.
This is the first such study which has linked antibiotics resistance to global warming and rising population density.
Therefore the regions which are getting hotter and have high population density such as south Asian countries (e.g. India and Bangladesh) and some African countries, would have serious consequences in terms of resistance to antibiotics.
Global health agencies such as W.H.O sound caution on the overuse of these drugs especially in the developing countries. Like other parts of India, the state of Jammu and Kashmir is also witnessing rampant use of antibiotics. All the studies and reports which have been published across the world on the antibiotic resistance have shown that it is a very serious issue and that there will be a drastic and deadly rise in antibiotic resistance in coming years.