The EU member states are collectively trying to address the rising antimicrobial resistance rates. When bacteria are able to endure and survive a treatment with antimicrobial drugs, in this case certain antibiotics, then standard treatments gradually become ineffective and infections will persist, forming a public health hazard. The EU countries are now exploring the possibilities of developing new alternatives for antibiotics. This has been agreed during a meeting of the Council of the European Union this week, where the country ministers of public health and agriculture convened.
Excessive and careless usage of antibiotics in the healthcare sector and in the agricultural sector make bacteria more and more unresponsive to conventional and standard pharmacological therapies with antibiotics. Easily treatable and thus far relatively harmless diseases such as bladder infection could potentially become life-threatening due to these developments.
Antibiotics have been labeled one of the most valuable medical innovations in mankind’s history. Since we are at risk of losing this precious life-saving invention forever, action is now needed to turn the tide. The Dutch minister of Public Health, Edith Schippers, states we have to be far more reticent in using antibiotics in healthcare and agriculture.