Antibiotics, too automatic, threaten global health

Global antibiotic consumption increased 65% between 2000 and 2015, boosted by booming use in middle and low-income countries but posing a threat to global health, researchers reported.

Because these experts recalled from the start of their report that “antibiotic resistance, caused by the consumption of antibiotics, is a growing threat to global health”.

Published Monday in the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), this study, based in part on projections, makes you dizzy: “The total global consumption of antibiotics in 2015 was estimated at 42.3 billion doses daily determined “.

In the 76 countries studied, the absorption of antibiotics increased from 21.1 billion daily doses determined in 2000 to 34.8 billion in 2015.

Correlated to the increase in their gross domestic product (GDP), the level of antibiotic consumption has particularly increased in middle and low income countries (LMIC): + 114% in 16 years, to reach 24.5 billion determined daily doses.

For Eili Klein, a researcher at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy and one of the study’s authors, this increase means “better access to needed drugs in countries with many diseases that can be treated effectively with antibiotics “.

But the researcher warns: “As more countries gain access to these drugs, these (consumption) rates will increase (…) which will lead to higher rates of resistance” to antibiotics.

However, this bacterial resistance is responsible for 700,000 deaths per year worldwide according to a group of international experts formed in 2014 in the United Kingdom.

– 77% increase –

Consumption is lower for high income countries (HICs), with 10.3 billion daily doses. And between 2000 and 2015, the increase was only 6%.

The consumption rate per 1,000 inhabitants per year remains much higher in high-income countries. But in 16 years, this rate has increased by 77% for middle- and low-income countries, while it has fallen by 4% for rich countries.

And some LMIC countries have exceeded the antibiotic consumption rate of high income countries.

In 2015, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria and Romania were among the six countries with the highest antibiotic consumption rates, while in 2000, the top five all belonged to the category of countries with the highest levels of antibiotics. returned.

Another example, in 16 years, the consumption of antibiotics has doubled in India, increased by 79% in China and 65% in Pakistan. These three countries are the largest users of antibiotics among the LMIC countries.

On the contrary, the increase was only marginal in the three leading countries of consumption in high-income nations, the United States, France and Italy, explains the study.

– Salvation from humanity –

Researchers are sounding the alarm for the future: “Projections of global antibiotic consumption in 2030, assuming no change in policy, are up to 200% higher than the 42 billion daily doses determined in 2015”.

“Eliminating this unnecessary use (of antibiotics) should be a first step and a priority for each country,” Eili Klein told AFP.

“30% of the use in high-income countries is inappropriate,” he adds, adding that the considerable consumption of antibiotics in some LMIC countries also suggests that they are being used inappropriately there.

Antibiotic resistance could cause ten million deaths per year by 2050, a recent British study reported.

The salvation of mankind could then perhaps come from the platypuses. This animal, which lives in Australia, is one of the few mammals that lay eggs. An Australian team recently discovered that a protein contained in the breast milk of the platypus could have therapeutic benefits for humans.

With AFP