Antibiotics pills health Sparky/Flickr

Una lucha justa contra la resistencia antimicrobiana

BRIGHTON – Las drogas antimicrobianas existentes se están volviendo menos eficientes. Si la tendencia actual continúa, podríamos terminar reviviendo las condiciones previas al descubrimiento de los antibióticos, cuando las enfermedades infecciosas eran asesinos de gran porte.

Encontrarle una solución al desafío de los microbios resistentes a las drogas será difícil. Exigirá no sólo grandes inversiones en investigación y desarrollo de nuevas drogas antimicrobianas, sino también un sistema para controlar y restringir los tratamientos nuevos, de manera de preservar su eficacia. Como sucede con la respuesta al cambio climático, una estrategia efectiva demandará una coordinación internacional. En particular, se deben reconciliar las necesidades de las compañías farmacéuticas con las de los gobiernos que pagan y las de los pobres a nivel global.

Por cierto, comprometer a los pobres será crucial para cualquier esfuerzo. Los países de ingresos bajos y medios son una fuente importante de organismos resistentes a las drogas. Las viviendas hacinadas, las malas instalaciones sanitarias y los sistemas inmunológicos comprometidos, ya sea debido a una mala alimentación o a infecciones crónicas como el VIH, ofrecen un terreno fértil para el contagio. Los antibióticos suelen utilizarse mal o son de mala calidad, lo que les da a las bacterias la oportunidad de volverse resistentes. También se utilizan grandes volúmenes de antibióticos en la cría de animales. Mientras tanto, una infraestructura de transporte inmensamente mejorada -entre las zonas rurales y urbanas, y entre países- implica que los genes resistentes rápidamente se vuelven parte de un pool global.

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