A danger called AMR lurks on your plate

A danger called AMR lurks on your plate

Hyderabad: In the world of medicine and nutraceuticals, antimicrobials stand as a beacon of hope, saving countless lives from the clutches of...

Hyderabad: In the world of medicine and nutraceuticals, antimicrobials stand as a beacon of hope, saving countless lives from the clutches of infectious diseases. However, a subtle menace isgradually encroaching upon their efficacy, a phenomenon known as Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Unlike the outbreaks that capture headlines, AMR is a silent pandemic, agradual erosion of the very tools we depend on to combat infections. Alarmingly, our foodsystem is intricately entwined in the propagation of this ominous threat.

Speaking with The Hans India, Dr Vivek Srivastav (Senior Vice President zeon life sciencesLtd) said, “The troubling escalation of AMR is rooted in aconvergence of factors. From antibiotics in livestock breeding to inadequate wastewatertreatment, a myriad of multifaceted factors are the reasons for the escalating concerns aroundAMR”.

He further said, From Farm to Fork: A Breeding Ground for Resistance: A majorcatalyst for AMR is the rampant use of antibiotics in animal agriculture. Whetheradministered for treatment or as a preventative measure, the routine use of antibiotics inlivestock fosters the proliferation of resistant bacteria in their guts.

This contaminationpersists in meat, poultry, and eggs, seamlessly finding its way onto our dinner plates. Beyond the Plate:A Web of Contamination: The concerns do not conclude at the dinnertable. Resistant bacteria extend their reach to water and soil through avenues such as manureand inadequate wastewater treatment. This creates a network, allowing resistantstrains to traverse from animals to plants and, inevitably, back to humans.

Consequences of Unchecked Antimicrobial Resistance

  • AMR unfurls multiple negative consequences, presenting a stark reality that demands urgent attention and decisive action. Therepercussions of this growing threat are multifaceted, with the potential to reshape thelandscape of healthcare and daily life. Two critical points underscore the severity of thesituation:
  • Evolution of Treatable Infections into Untreatable Threats: Everyday infections,once easily manageable with antibiotics, stand on the precipice of transformation intountreatable threats. The very medications that have historically safeguarded us againstbacterial infections are losing their efficacy, leaving a void in our ability to combatcommonplace illnesses.
  • Heightened Risks in Routine Surgeries and Minor Injuries: Even the most mundaneinjuries could escalate into deadly complications, further emphasising the urgent needfor comprehensive strategies to mitigate the growing menace of AMR.

Breaking the Chain: A Call to Action

  • Addressing AMR necessitates a comprehensive approach. Key strategies include:
  • Responsible antibiotic use in agriculture: Enforcing stricter regulations, advocatingfor alternative disease management practices, and investing in research for non-antibiotic solutions.
  • Enhanced biosecurity and sanitation: Strengthening hygiene measures on farms andthroughout the food processing chain to minimise contamination risks.
  • Consumer awareness and education: Empowering individuals to make informedchoices about the food they purchase and advocating for responsible antibiotic usepractices.
  • Investing in research and innovation: Developing new antimicrobials, diagnostictools, and personalised medicine approaches to combat resistant infections moreeffectively.

AMR is a complex challenge, but not an insurmountable one. Collaboration from farmers todoctors, consumers to policymakers, is crucial to breaking the chain of resistance andsecuring a future where the food we consume nurtures us rather than harboring the silentthreat of untreatable infections.It is a collective responsibility—one that we must embrace forthe well-being of current and future generations.

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