Antibiotic Resistance has been found to be lesser in places where there is Good governance, clean water, & sanitation, finds a new study. The findings of this study are published in the journal of Lancet Planetary Health.
The study, which was based on economic and public health data from 73 countries, found that better infrastructure and better governance were significantly associated with lower measures of antimicrobial resistance. Good governance includes lower corruption, political stability, the rule of law, and absence of violence; while infrastructure measures include sanitation, safe water, internet accessibility, urbanization, and access to electricity. Improving sanitation, increasing access to clean water, and ensuring good governance, plus increasing public health expenditures, all need to be addressed to reduce global antimicrobial resistance, say the authors of the paper.
‘To tackle antimicrobial resistance, transmission of resistant pathogens has to be prevented through investments in improved water and sanitation, and primary healthcare facilities.’
Although the use of antibiotics is commonly known to drive the emergence and maintenance of antimicrobial resistance, the team found that antibiotic consumption was not significantly associated with higher antimicrobial resistance. Reducing antibiotic consumption is insufficient to control antimicrobial resistance because contagion--the spread of resistant strains--seems to be the dominant factor.
"While reducing antibiotic consumption is important, we have to remember that resistance genes are already widely disseminated in the environment," according to Ramanan Laxminarayan, one of the study's authors. "Preventing transmission of resistant pathogens through investments in improved water and sanitation, and primary health care are central to our ability to tackle antimicrobial resistance."
"There are no magic bullets here," Laxminarayan said. "Any new antibiotic will run into the same challenges as existing ones, and resistance will emerge rapidly unless we take the problems of improving the health system head-on."