Antibiotics: 50% increase in consumption compared to 2015 – How is germ resistance caused?


Consumption of antibiotics shows a 50% increase compared to 2015, according to a recent poll by K-Research, commissioned by ISA in collaboration with the Hellenic Society of Chemotherapy.

75% of Greeks took antibiotics last year, for symptoms that were indicative of viruses (eg sore throat, cough, runny nose, low-grade fever), and therefore completely useless, since antibiotics are not active against viruses. But also in the hospitals of our country, valuable antibiotics, such as carbapenes and colistin, have a primary consumption among the countries of Europe. The above were mentioned during an interview by Eleni Giamarellou, professor of Pathology at EKPA, infectious disease specialist and president of the Hellenic Society of Chemotherapy, and Kyriaki Kanellakopoulou, professor of Pathology – Infections at EKPA and member of the Board. of the Hellenic Society of Chemotherapy, during a press conference, on the occasion of the World Information Week for the proper use of ISA antibiotics, the Hellenic Society of Chemotherapy and the Hellenic Inter-Municipal Network of Healthy Cities of the WHO (ED).

“The inappropriate use of antibiotics is a major health issue that concerns much of the global community. The situation in our country is also quite difficult, as we are first in Europe. First in the abuse of antibiotics and of course first in the resistance of the germs “, said the president of EDDYPPY and ISA, George Patoulis, Attica Regional Governor. The Hellenic Network of Healthy Cities in collaboration with the Hellenic Society of Chemotherapy and the Medical Association of Athens, for the 8th consecutive year organizes the Panhellenic Information Campaign on “Myths and Truths about Antibiotics and Vaccines”, which to date aims to to inform thousands of our citizens on the subject.

Week 18-24 November 2021 is globally dedicated to informing and raising awareness of all of us about antibiotics. “Unfortunately, our country, among European countries, holds two sad leaders: The highest consumption of antibiotics in the community, concerning penicillins, cephalosporins, macrolides and quinolones, as shown in the official records of the ECDC since 2014 and the highest endurance germs in the relatively newer antibiotics, both outpatient and inpatient “, said Mr. Giamarellou and Mr. Kanellakopoulou. Typically, carbapenem resistance to nosocomial germs, such as Acinetobacter spp. And Klebsiella spp. 24% in cotrimoxazole and ~ 20% in quinolones.

But what is resistance, which kills more than 700,000 people each year from infections caused by antibiotic-resistant germs, and how is it caused? “Germs, as living microorganisms, defend themselves against invaders-antibiotics. In the battle that follows, the bacteria activate mechanisms that neutralize the antibiotics we receive, while at the same time the multi-resistant strains colonize our normal flora, so that the risk of future infections caused by the multi-resistant germs, constantly lurks in us. “Most infections are caused,” said the two professors. They added that the application of “contact measures” as well as hand hygiene by all medical staff, before and after each contact with a patient, should not be neglected in our hospitals. Because, while the abuse of antibiotics selects resistant clones of germs, the “unwashed” hands disperse them to the patient and his immediate environment, so that in the end a vicious cycle is caused. At the same time, it should not be overlooked that antibiotics as drugs are not innocent, as they cause side effects, such as allergic reactions and diarrheal syndromes, even fatal.

The problem is even bigger if we consider that the “end of antibiotics” has reached, as has been officially announced by the global pharmaceutical industry and the competent bodies, since in the last decade it does not seem that “new generations” of antibiotics active in the multi-resistant germs that we created by over-consuming them, they noted.

Is there a solution to the problem that makes us all co-responsible, to make antibiotics drastic again? Yes, the scientists answer and it concerns the cessation of their unnecessary administration for 3-6 months, the correct diagnosis of infections and the consultation by our doctor. “Only then will the germs become sensitive again.” Let us think that today one patient dies worldwide every 45 seconds from a highly resistant germ and that by 2050 10 million people will die every year! That is, many more of our fellow human beings, that is, compared to those who will die of cancer “. To save these valuable drugs and make them effective again requires the cooperation of all, doctors, pharmacists, the pharmaceutical industry, citizens and the state, the speakers concluded.


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