Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of a microorganism such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi to make treatments that were once working well ineffective.

To understand how antimicrobial resistance works, one needs to learn the root cause of this phenomenon. When a microorganism is exposed to a certain drug very often, it may develop new features to fight back the given drug. As a result, drugs become ineffective
for that certain microorganism and the disease it causes. Besides being unable to treat simple infections, medical procedures such as chemotherapy and transplantation become high risk due to ineffective antimicrobial drugs and resistant microorganisms.

Since microorganisms do not respect national man-made borders, the resistant ones can travel across countries and threaten people all over the world, making it a global health concern. Therefore, it is important to take global action against it.

In the era of growing antimicrobial resistance, misuse and overuse of antimicrobial drugs fuels this
threat. This happens when people with viral infections like flu and common cold take antimicrobial drugs without their doctor’s prescription or when drugs are given to animals for fast growth. Thus, it is crucial to see a doctor before taking antimicrobial drugs. In brief, consciously using an antimicrobial drug is the core of the fight against this resistance.

The microorganisms which develop resistance are called “superbugs” as they are now unable to get treated easily by existing drugs. Researches say that forthcoming we will not have effective antimicrobial drugs left for most of the infections. This shows the severity of this problem and how it will continue to affect our lives even more.

However, there is always a solution and the solution starts with individual actions. Every single person should be careful when it comes to using antimicrobial drugs. They should not use them without seeing a doctor or should not stop using them before the recommended period.

National and international actions are as important as individual actions. Regulation on antimicrobial use should be part of a well-working healthcare system in a country. Also, the public should get educated on the issue through awareness activities. When individual actions combine with broader national and global actions, we can be the generation that ends the antimicrobial resistance.

All in all, antimicrobial resistance is an increasing threat all over the world and everyone has a role to play for its solution.

Aykut Ucar

Yeditepe University, Medical Faculty

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