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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Embracing Diagnostics to Hinder Antimicrobial Resistance

Did you know that even Alexander Fleming, the Nobel Prize winner for his discovery of penicillin, was already warning of its potential misuse only 17 years later? In fact, resistance is a natural phenomenon that has been traced back millions of years, and we began to see a noticeable increase of penicillin resistance within only 10 years of its introduction (1).

Antibiotics, such as penicillin, were enough of a game changer that we seemingly shook off the warning signs that we may be relying on them too heavily, and were even applying them in cases where they were useless or can do more long-term harm than good. Applying antibiotics and other antimicrobials without considering the clinical utility or long-term consequences of their inadequate use is slowly gaining more attention, but we still have a long way to go to reach a level of awareness that can effect change.

Crash Course on Antimicrobials and Resistance

Antimicrobial is an umbrella term for medicines such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, and antiparasitics that prevent and treat infections in humans, as well as animals and plants. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites evolve and no longer respond to conventional antimicrobial treatments, making infections much harder to treat – in some cases leaving no treatment options available (2).

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Chelsea Brooks is an Editor at Sysmex Europe, an in vitro diagnostics company based in Germany. Her current work covers product, scientific, and corporate content, with the aim of helping healthcare professionals understand and utilise the full potential of laboratory diagnostics. She often also addresses patients with her work and how they can benefit from the latest diagnostic developments. She first received a BA in Linguistics at the University of Iowa, US, and a subsequent MA in Linguistics at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany.

brooks.chelsea@sysmex-europe.com
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