Protecting environmental waters from antimicrobial resistance-a global issue

  • View Authors: Lina Taing, Rachel Kaiser (Hamilton, Canada)
  • International news agency

In view of this development, the United Nations designated November 18-24 as World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, To remind all of us to handle antibiotics more carefully.

Antimicrobial drugs—from antibiotics and antiviral drugs to disinfectants and antiseptic chemicals—help prevent or treat infections in humans, animals, and plants, and make a huge contribution to the health and progress of the world.

However, now, common antibiotics and first-line antimicrobial drugs for infectious diseases such as HIV and malaria are becoming Poor effect.

The World Health Organization reports 700,000 people Died from drug-resistant diseases every year. If this threat continues to go out of control, It is estimated that 10 million people will die every year with By 2050, the world will lose 100 trillion U.S. dollars.

The most worrying thing is It is estimated that 90% of the global urban growth will occur in Africa and Asia, where the population is most vulnerable to drug-resistant bacteriaMore and more multilateral organizations and national governments are taking measures to reduce unnecessary human use of antibiotics, including in our food chain.

Human consumption of antibiotics from 2000 to 2015 Increase by 65%, Led by low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), whose GDP has grown in tandem with the use, overuse, and abuse of antibiotics.

At the same time, the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry is almost three times that of human consumption, and is expected to reach 200,235 tons of animals, 13,600 tons of aquaculture By 2030, producers will strive to reduce infections and increase animal growth.

Phytoantibiotic use data Is limited, but the presence of resistant bacteria has been detected 25% plant-based food From all regions of the world, indicating that food may cause greater AMR.

Excessive use of antibiotics in humans, animals and plants also puts environmental health at risk.but Environmental spread Relatively little attention has been paid to soil, air or water as a means AMR driver.

Depending on the drug, humans and animals can excrete up to 90% of antibacterial compounds or metabolites Still active and may end up untreated in the environment.

Unsafe disposal of antibacterial drugs and hospital wastewater, Drugmaker, Municipal treatment plants and farms Considered to be a hot spot for the introduction and evolution of more resistant strains (ie, Super bacteria).

Therefore, this pollution will increase human exposure to AMR through contaminated soil and water supplies that maintain our environment or are used for food, drinking, cleaning, and entertainment.

Increase access to safe water, sanitation and personal hygiene (WASH) Improve sewage treatment capacity Is the main environmental intervention Reduce the spread of AMR.

However, current statistics paint an alarming picture of whether these efforts are sufficient to deal with environmental risks, because A quarter of humanity Unable to get safe water and just ended Half of the world’s wastewater is treated. Of particular concern is the large number of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe report limited or no data on the treatment of domestic and industrial wastewater streams.

At the current rate of progress, widespread WASH and wastewater treatment Unlikely to happen soonThis highlights the need to take additional measures to protect environmental water from these AMR exposure pathways.

Environmental waters are An aquatic environment that can be used as AMR storage and access Therefore, their protection is crucial in AMR management. Environmental water refers to a wide variety of natural and man-made water bodies in the world, from wetlands that protect wildlife and cultivate local ecosystems, to groundwater and surface water that we extract for water supply or discharge wastewater.

One might argue that environmental water AMR protection is inherent Measures to reduce the use of upstream antibiotics and strengthen downstream WASH and municipal and industrial wastewater treatment strategies.

However, wastewater treatment from agriculture, the main source of environmental pollution, is often overlooked, even though the industry uses the largest number of antimicrobial agents, 70% Global freshwater, And discharge most of the untreated wastewater and runoff into the environment.

The low coverage of WASH, coupled with inadequate treatment of domestic, industrial and agricultural wastewater, has resulted in 5 billion people depend on unimproved water From contaminated environmental water bodies, there is a greater risk of exposure and infection of AMR.

Although water protection was considered in 2018first step“To reduce environmental AMR pollution.

The United Nations should support the supervision, regulation and enforcement of water and land protection legislation, as well as the formulation of AMR-related water quality standards-to prevent and mitigate environmental AMR risks, and to respond fairly to human, animal and environmental AMR threats.

Lina Taining Is a water and health researcher, and Rachel Caesar He is an intern at the United Nations University Institute of Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), a Canadian think tank supported by the Canadian government and located at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The institute will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2021.


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© Inter Press Service (2021) — All rights reservedOriginal source: International News Service

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