BANGALORE: Most people have heard that it’s crucial to complete a course of antibiotics, otherwise one might develop a resistance to it. However, that’s one of many ways people can develop resistance to a particular drug. Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a release about findings on the subject, which confirms resistance to antibiotics, including carbapenem, fluoroquinolones, third generation cephalosporins.
When bacteria change, antibiotics, no longer work against infections they’re supposed to treat, a person is then said to be resistant to the drug. According to the release, this has become a serious threat to public health world over.
City Express speaks to some doctors from Bangalore on the subject.
Dr Rajeeva Moger, consultant physician, Apollo Hospital, says that more than half the patients with typhoid that the hospital treats are showing a resistance to Quinolones, a family of synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotics. “This results from hap-hazardous prescriptions. From the doctor’s side, this happens when the antibiotic prescribed is either unnecessary or inadequate, and from the patient’s side, when he/ she takes up self-medication or doesn’t complete an entire course,” he explains.
During his practice, the doctor says, he too has seen a rise in those resistant to third-generation cephalosporin used to treat urinary tract infection and other infections often picked up by hospital in-patients. “So it’s advisable to maintain the usual general hygiene — when you’re eating out, avoid uncooked food, make sure you drink only boiled or filtered water. As for the doctors and hospital staff, maintaining hand hygiene — sterilising one’s hands between attending to each patient could help. Also, there’s an antibiotic rotation policy that has to be looked into — bacteria, when not exposed to an antibiotic for a duration of time, might become sensitive to it once more,” he adds.
Consultant diabetologist Dr Punam Bhende believes that medical practitioners should ensure that they follow guidelines and prescribe the right dosage of the drug for the infection. “Of course, in the ideal situation, the doctor, after sending samples of the patient’s body fluids for testing, should talk to the micro-biologist because he/ she can tell us from the culture what exactly causes the infection. But, one can’t always wait for the results, in which case, following the norms is the least that one can do,” she says.
Ayurveda has a different system of dealing with infectious diseases, says Dr C A Kishore, president, India Ayurveda Foundation. “We focus on increasing immunity, which might mean that there are delayed benefits. So, we have specific treatments that we use, which means that often, antibiotics aren’t really a requirement and resistance not a major concern,” he clarifies.