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Australia’s antibiotic crisis
Resistance to antibiotics is fast evolving into a global public health crisis.
This is the message of an Editorial in the latest issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Professor Chris Del Mar from Bond University said increased resistance may mean that many routine infections could not be treated with antibiotics. Major surgery, organ transplantation and cancer chemotherapy could potentially become out of safe reach.
“The focus of our responses so far has been on hospital care, where the effects are most keenly felt, but it is the community where most antibiotics are prescribed, often inappropriately,” Professor Del Mar said.
“We need improved ongoing surveillance to gain a better understanding of pathogens and their antibiotic susceptibilities.
“We also need a better understanding of the contribution of hospitals and the community to resistance.
“Importantly, we need to understand the extent to which primary care providers can reduce the prescription of antibiotics, and by how much that will reduce resistance.”
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