Wednesday, 26 September 2012

In a major cause of health concern, researchers from Vijayawada have found that a number of powerful antibiotics had developed high resistance in the city thanks to indiscriminate prescription of medicines in government and private hospitals. Resistance to antibiotics makes simple disease-causing germs into superbugs, fighting which is quite difficult

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  In a major cause of health concern, researchers
from Vijayawada have found that a number of powerful antibiotics had
developed high resistance in the city thanks to indiscriminate
prescription of medicines in government and private hospitals.
Resistance to antibiotics makes simple disease-causing germs into
superbugs, fighting which is quite difficult.

Antibiotics like antibacterial drug amikacin are the only medicine
showing sensitivity pattern to disease-causing germs in Vijayawada.
Even its effectiveness is around 67 per cent. A majority of
antibiotics including cotrimoxazole, nalidixic acid, amoxicillin,
gentamycin and norflaxacin have acquired a resistance rate ranging
between 55.1 per cent and 80.6 per cent. In other words it means that
only 20 to 45 per cent of the drug works, throwing the prescribed
antibiotic regime to haywire.

The department of biotechnology attached to the School of Life
Sciences, Montessori Mahila Kalasala, Vijayawada, conducted the
research study. The research team included DK Bharadwaj, PK
Tripuraribhatla, M Khagga, VG Thadepalli and SB Peripi.

The researchers collected data on antibiotic usage and susceptibility
patterns from government and private hospitals. Analysis of the data
showed that antipyretics (fever) and analgesics (painkillers) topped
the prescription list forming 20.6 per cent of all prescribed
medicines in Vijayawada city. They were followed by nutrition and
metabolism products forming 19 per cent of prescribed drugs.
Gastrointestinal disorder-related drugs were 18.5 per cent and
antibiotics 16.8 per cent.

“Among the antibiotics, aminoglycosides (amikacin), quinolones
(ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin), tetracyclines (doxycycline), penicillin
(ampicillin) and sulphonamides (co-trimoxazole) were the most commonly
prescribed drugs for antibiotic therapy,” the researchers said in
their study.

About 46 per cent of the culture laboratory reports were positive for
pathogens. They included Escherichia coli (36 per cent), Klebsiella
pneumoniae (16 per cent), Staphylococcus aureus (29 per cent),
Enterococcus faecalis (9 per cent) and Pseudomonas
aeruginosa (10 per cent). These organisms have developed resistance to
antibiotics.

“Our results suggest that indiscriminate prescription and consumption of new
broad-spectrum antibiotics against sensitive organisms results in the
development of antimicrobial resistance,” they said emphasing the urgency to curb
excessive use of antibiotics in local hospitals to control the trend of increasing
antimicrobial resistance to drugs.

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