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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

WHO report: Antimicrobial Resistance

This blog post is in reference to the World Health Organization's 2014 report on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) found here:

I won't dissect the entire report. It focuses on resistance to antibacterial drugs in nine pathogens, including E. coli, MRSA, salmonella, S. pneumoniae, K. pneumoniae, and others. These select bacteria are causing some of the most common infections in different settings; in the community, in hospitals or transmitted through the food chain.

Here are some key points I pulled away from it. Please educate yourself and read it!

  • “A post-antibiotic era—in which common infections and minor injuries can kill—far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century”
  • "Very high rates of resistance have been observed in bacteria that cause common health-care associated and community-acquired infections (e.g. urinary tract infection, pneumonia) in all WHO regions."
  • "Antimicrobial resistance has an impact on animal health, with potential adverse effects on food production. Microorganisms resistant to antimicrobials that emerge in animals may spread to human populations."
  • "Invasive candidiasis [a fungal infection caused by the yeast Candida] is a major problem in patients receiving intensive antibacterial therapy, such as those in intensive care or receiving immunosuppressive therapy." "Prior antibiotic use is one of the common risk factors for Candida infection because it leads to alteration of the normal microflora." "Invasive Candida infections have high morbidity and mortality rates."
  • "Data obtained for E. coli, K. pneumoniae and S. aureus showed that the proportion resistant to commonly used specified antibacterial drugs exceeded 50% in many settings."
  • "The evidence obtained shows that ABR has a significant adverse impact on clinical outcomes and leads to higher costs due to consumption of health-care resources."
  • "It is essential to take appropriate measures to preserve the efficacy of the existing drugs so that common and life-threatening infections can be cured."
In 2012, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said "A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.” She also stated, "“Worldwide, the fact that greater quantities of antibiotics are used in healthy animals than in unhealthy humans is a cause for great concern,”

Furthermore, triclosan, the antibacterial chemical added to soaps and hand sanitizers, and other products like toothpastes, was found to encourage nasal colonization of staph. (Source:

Additionally, while hand sanitizer may kill 99.99% of germs, alcohol-based products increase biofilm production and the pathogen potential of staph and is part of why we are facing bacterial resistance problems. (Source:

The American Academy of Pediatrics stated, “Canadian researchers reported in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine that the risk of harboring methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is threefold higher among children who took one or more antibiotics one to six months before they were diagnosed with the infection. The number of antibiotics taken was directly linked to the risk of infection, with those who got at least four prescriptions having an 18-fold increased risk for MRSA, the study of U.K. children found.”

Norwex offers Timeless Natural Hand Cleaner, an organic, triclosan-free and alcohol-free alternative to hand sanitizers. Learn more:

Norwex also offers Peppermint Foaming Hand Wash, a triclosan-free and paraben-free alternative to antibacterial hand soap. Learn more:

Learn more about how Norwex provides antibac benefits

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