Since 2015, every year from 18 to 24 of November, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) takes place. It is a global campaign, launched by WHO, which is celebrated in order to raise public awareness and understanding towards the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance.
Today, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats, not only to global health but also food security. Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally as microorganisms develop strategies to defense against antibiotics such as ways to destroy them, to limit their entrance through the membrane or to get rid of them pumping them out. But, what’s alarming, is the acceleration in resistance development caused by antibiotics’ misuse both in humans and animals. In fact, the wide, and often useless, presence of antibiotics pressure bacteria to adapt so that, when the real need comes, higher doses, higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality are the outcomes. In Europe, the health impact of antibiotics resistant infections is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined.
To prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance, a synergic approach is deemed necessary. One of the key objectives of the WAAW is to plan activities, trainings, and control measures and to encourage proper practices among the population in order to tackle the problem. Among the main goals is to replace broad-spectrum antibiotics, when possible, preferring to use fewer but targeted antibiotics, specifically designed to kill the pathogen only.
We all must prevent a post-antibiotic era in which common infection will be able to kill again.