children carrying water Barcroft Media | Getty Images

Lutter contre les maladies par un retour aux sources

LONDRES – Vaincre la résistance aux antimicrobiens nécessitera des solutions technologiques pionnières. Pour empêcher que des superbactéries tuent quelques dix millions de personnes par an d’ici 2050, il faudra inventer de nouveaux médicaments antimicrobiens et mettre au point des tests de diagnostic rapides pour éviter les traitements inutiles et réduire le recours excessif aux antibiotiques.

Pourtant, aussi essentielles que soient ces moyens de haute technologie, ce ne sont que des solutions partielles. Pour s’attaquer au problème à la racine, la seule option est de faire en sorte que les infections ne se déclarent pas en premier lieu – en améliorant l’hygiène, les installations sanitaires et la surveillance des maladies. Ce n’est qu’en mettant l’accent sur ces domaines qu’il sera possible de réduire à long terme la demande pour de nouveaux médicaments.

En fait, au XIXe siècle, bien avant que les médicaments modernes aient été inventés, les grandes villes occidentales luttaient contre les maladies en cherchant à prévenir les infections. Et cette approche reste la meilleure pour les métropoles avec une population en plein essor.

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