Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pharmaceutical Companies Sign Declaration to Act Against Antibiotics

Contributed by Siddarth D & Dr. Tamhankar

In a first of its kind step, drug makers have pledged  joined hands with governments and other bodies working on addressing the problem of antibiotic resistance. Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance was signed by 85 phrama, bio-tech and drug companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Pfizer as well as Cipla from India, to adhere to a common set of protocols keeping in mind antibiotic conservation.

The declaration was launched as part of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and outlines several key measures the government and industry must take to increase antibiotic effectiveness worldwide. This was done in collaboration the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, a group commissioned by the UK Prime Minister for the purpose of raising awareness for the economic issues surrounding antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

This 21st January declaration, has broadened the scope of involving all the stakeholders in the process of tackling antibiotic resistance. Drug companies have been criticised for not doing enough to control the market forces that impeded unregulated production and sale of antibiotics. Rather than working in silos, it is only when policy makers, field workers, researchers and drug companies are on the same page, that effective steps can be taken to rationalize the use of antibiotics.  It is hoped that more drug makers sign the declaration and are part of the solution rather than the problem to antibiotic resistance.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Gene that makes superbugs found in Canada

Contributed by Siddarth D & Dr. Tamhankar

The MCR-1 gene that makes E. coli and some other species of bacteria resistant to colistin, an antibiotic considered the drug of last resort for infectious diseases has been found by scientists in samples in Canada. Moreover, the MCR-1 gene was found on a free-floating  bit of DNA: the plasmid allowing it to be transferred easily to other micro-organisms.

Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory had launched a nation-wide campaign to test samples for the presence of antimicrobial resistance. The three cases in Canada were reported in Canadian woman returning from Egypt and two from beef samples in Ottawa. This adds to the confirmed cases of the presence of the MCR-1 gene which was first reported in China and shared in this blog. Since then, scientists in other countries, including Britain, Denmark and Laos, have had similar findings.

This finding has reiterated the need to address the phenomenon of antimicrobial resistance at the global level with better stewardship and appropriate use. 

Read The ``TRUE LIFE STORY``of a family infected with MRSA