Antimicrobial resistance from pollution poses major threat to public health

Bhubaneswar: Antimicrobial resistance or AMR from environmental pollution poses a critical threat to public health as well as plant health, food security and economic development.

According to “Bracing for Superbugs: Strengthening environmental action in the One Health response to antimicrobial resistance”, a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), environment plays a vital role in development and transmission of antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobials such as antibiotics, antifungals and disinfectants are important in treating infections and diseases. AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. The increase in AMR due to pollution caused by pharmaceuticals, agricultural and healthcare sectors as well as the extreme weather patterns and high temperature leads to superbugs, microorganisms that are resistant to known antibiotics.

The UNEP predicts that upto 10 million people could die annually due to AMR by 2050 and global GDP could drop by US $3.4 trillion by 2030.

Hence, the world must cut down the pollution to reduce the emergence, transmission and spread of superbugs, the report suggested.

[This story is a part of ‘Punascha Pruthibi – One Earth. Unite for It’, an awareness campaign by Sambad Digital.]

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