drugstore clerk antibiotics Li Zongxian/ZumaPress

Die sinnvolle Verwendung von Antibiotika

LONDON – Um das Problem der antimikrobiellen Resistenz zu lösen, braucht die Welt nicht nur neue Medikamente, sondern auch neue Verhaltensweisen – für alle sieben Milliarden Menschen. Durch die falsche Anwendung und den übermäßigen Gebrauch von Antibiotika werden häufige Infektionskrankheiten wie Lungenentzündung oder Tuberkulose immer resistenter gegen bestehende Behandlungsweisen. In manchen Fällen sind ihre Erreger bereits völlig immun geworden.

Die Bedrohung hat globale Ausmaße angenommen. Laut der Untersuchungskommission für Antimikrobielle Resistenz, deren Vorsitzender ich bin, fallen jährlich mindestens 700.000 Menschen medikamentenresistenten Infektionen zum Opfer. Wenn nichts dagegen getan wird, könnten bis zum Jahr 2050 etwa zehn Millionen Menschen an Krankheiten sterben, die früher heilbar waren.

Ein wichtiger Aspekt des koordinierten Kampfes gegen antimikrobielle Resistenz ist die Entwicklung neuer Medikamente. Aber dies ist nicht genug. Außerdem müssen wir unseren Bedarf an Antibiotika verringern und verstehen, dass sie manchmal eher schaden als nützen. Einer Schätzung zufolge ist in den USA fast die Hälfte der Verschreibungen von Antibiotika unangemessen oder unnütz. Also ist der starke Anstieg der antimikrobiellen Resistenz kaum überraschend.

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