Researchers have discovered that in Antarctica there are bacteria that are resistant to both antibiotics and disinfection.
It can pose risks when the ice there melts – and is a wake-up call for the global problem of antibiotic resistance, according to an expert.
It is particularly worrying given the climate change because we know that the Antarctic Peninsula, where the study was conducted, is one of the places where the ice melts the fastest. There will thus be more bare ground that can contain a large number of different hyper-resistant bacteria.
According to the researchers, natural protection against both antibiotics and disinfectants has been developed so that the bacteria can survive in extreme conditions in Antarctica. The protection can be easily transferred to other pathogenic bacteria, which could have serious consequences. This is a reminder that humans are far behind bacteria’s ability to evolve.
If the ice melts quickly, you can imagine that the bacteria come to the surface, then they can spread to, for example, birds and contribute to the global resistance problem.
The way we use antibiotics is not sustainable. Similar discoveries have been made in the permafrost in Canada, If the permafrost melts, the glaciers melt … then the large amounts of bacteria present in the earth’s biomass emerge. They contain antibiotic resistance.
Over a million died
According to a study published in the journal The Lancet in January this year, over one million people in the world died in 2019 as a result of antibiotics no longer working against many infections.
Antibiotics are not the world’s smartest drugs because overuse leads to them destroying themselves. But the world’s healthcare has developed with its help of it and now we are standing there and ashamed.
He calls the antibiotic resistance a quiet and slow pandemic and says that it has previously been assumed that we will be able to develop new antibiotics, and thus avoid the resistance becomes a problem, but that new thinking is now required to both develop antibiotics and eventually find alternatives to these funds.
Steps are being taken in the right direction, but it is not going fast enough, he says.
Antibiotic use – and the resistance with it – is constantly increasing. A global effort is now needed to combat resistance. If the world really wakes up, we have a good chance of getting in balance.
Facts: Antibiotic resistance
Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. An example of an antibiotic is penicillin.
However, overuse of antibiotics has led to some bacteria becoming resistant, resistant. Resistance has become a major problem in many countries.
The risk of developing resistance decreases if the antibiotic is not used unnecessarily and if the bacteria are not exposed to too low or short-term doses.
For a healthy person, it is usually not dangerous to be infected by a resistant bacterium. However, it can be life-threatening for someone who is seriously ill or has had surgery.
According to a report by the World Health Organization 2020, at least 700,000 people are estimated to die each year due to antimicrobial resistance, ie infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria, parasites, viruses or fungi. According to the forecast, the number by 2050 will be up to 10 million deaths per year.
Sources: World Health Organization