In attempt to stop misuse or overuse of antibiotics, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is conducting an “antibiotic resistance survey,” based on which its latest policy on the use of these
In attempt to stop misuse or overuse of antibiotics, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is conducting an “antibiotic resistance survey,” based on which its latest policy on the use of these antibiotics will be framed.
The ICMR director-general, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, said that based on the findings of the survey, guidelines will finalised to regulate the use of antibiotics. Currently, the ICMR has launched the survey at four centres to get details about the prevalence of antibiotics resistance against the “hospital-acquired infections” and other bacterial infections. For more comprehensive study to detail the adverse impact of antibiotics, 15 more centres will be roped in the next five years.
Initial findings of the survey, currently going on since 2013 at the four centres, have revealed that antibiotics resistance against some bacterial infections, which was high 20 years ago, has improved. “During analysis of data for hospital-ac-quired infections of 18,000 patients, it was found that antibiotics resistance aga-inst typhoid, which was very high 20 years ago, has improved. Due to high res-istance, doctors had stop-ped giving certain antibiotics to typhoid patients, but with the new findings it is advisable to prescribe the same,” Dr Kanika Walia of the ICMR, who is heading the survey, said.
Initial findings are based on the data collected from four centres — AIIMS in the national capital, PGI Chandigarh, JIPMER Puducherry and CMC Vellore. The survey covers typhoid, fungal infection, hospital-acquired infections and diarrhoea. “Our data management unit is analysing the findings of the survey on the basis of age groups and demography. The survey also includes six pathological infections,” added Dr Walia.
Talking about the need for a policy on antibiotic use, Dr Swaminathan said that in absence of awareness there is misuse and overuse of the antibiotics leading to several side effects, including loss of life. “Policy or treatment guidelines will not only save people from adverse effects, but also define duration and doses of antibiotics,” added Dr Swaminathan.
The ICMR director-general suggested a few steps to improve the antibiotics resistance. According to Dr Swaminathan, there should be a programme for creating awareness about the antibiotic use, regulation that talks about the ban of irregular combinations.