The most potent antibiotics that we have today are carbapenems. An enzyme called NMDI in bacteria allows these to be resistant to that class of antibiotics, and 1/10th of them are resistant to all antibiotics (pan-resistance). At this time, there is no evidence for development of new antimicrobials. Cases of NMDI resistance have been found in North America, Europe, and Asia.
The genes responsible for this resistance can move from one type of bacteria to another, making the problem even more serious. This resistance is found in E. coli (the common cause of infections of the kidneys and bladder). Colistin, which can treat one of the resistant strains, even results in serious kidney toxicity.
Because of NMDI, we have essentially returned to an era before antibiotics. The World Health Organization (WHO) blames overuse and misuse of antibiotics as the cause of this problem. It is especially a concern where prescriptions of antibiotics are not regulated, such as China and India. Human use is small, however, compared to the use in agriculture. (Animal use is 1000 times greater than human use.)
The European Union (EU) has banned the use of antimicrobials in animals for growth promotion. Public education is important, such as information that antibiotics do not alter viral illnesses. This is a tragic situation, and there is no end in sight to the negative impact possible.
CONCLUSION: NMDI antibiotic resistance is spreading around the world due to overuse of antibiotics. The result could soon be that we have no good treatments for infectious disease.
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