April 04, 2008

From Rik Rösken:

Re: Scientist: “superbugs” resist all drugs, portend pandemic (March 31): While I agree that the increase of resistance is something important to consider, it is also noted in the article, that the new superbugs are especially hazardous to patients with impaired health. Superresistance of bacteria often come with an price that these bateria are less virulent. Therefore, while it may become epidemic at some hospital wards, it might be questioned if it also becomes a true pandemic.

Much more important would also be to adress the cause of the increasing antibiotics restiance. There is a clear correlation that the severity of antibiotic resistance is the strongest in countries where antibiotics is given liberally, or can be bought without prescription. Greece is an example with one of the highest precentages of resistant bacteria in Europe and where antibiotics are quite liberal prescribed.

Some of the other countries in Europe, for example The Netherlands, have greatly restricted the use of antibiotics, with a very low resitance level as an consequence. By using strict hygiëne standards and only use antibiotics if it is userful on prescription, resistance can be held limited and treatable.

Therefore it might be intresting to compare antibiotic regiments in for example Greece and The Netherlands, and write about what readers might do to help to decrease the use of antibiotics and thus resitance among bacteria.

Rik Rösken
The Netherlands


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