Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

De mondiale veiligheidsdreiging van antimicrobiële resistentie

SEATTLE – We worden momenteel geconfronteerd met de harde realiteit dat er sinds de eerste successen van vaccins en antimicrobiële therapieën geen enorme stappen meer gemaakt zijn in de behandeling of het voorkomen van infectieziekten. In zekere zin gaat de wereld zelfs achteruit, omdat microben die eens behandelbaar waren resistent worden tegen bestaande medicijnen, en er nieuwe infecties blijven opkomen waar nog geen effectieve interventies tegen bestaan.

Deze situatie betekent voor de hele wereld een serieuze en onmiddellijke dreiging. Kijk maar naar de mondiale impact van de ebolacrisis van 2014 in West-Afrika of de uitbraak van SARS in 2003, die zelfs rijke economieën als Singapore en Canada in gevaar bracht.

Een zeer dodelijke en zich snel verspreidende infectie door resistente microben zou leiden tot ontelbare doden en onvoorstelbare misère. De consequenties zouden qua omvang vergelijkbaar kunnen zijn met een zeer grootschalige terroristische aanslag. Gemeenschappen zouden afgegrendeld kunnen worden, de nationale grenzen gesloten, en vrij reizen zou beperkt of zelfs opgeschort kunnen worden. Zorgsystemen zouden kunnen desintegreren of in elkaar storten, evenals economieën.

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