In recent years, more and more studies have suggested that air pollution is a serious threat to human health. However, a new global study by scientists from China and the UK reveals another aspect of the problem. The study shows that air pollution contributes to the rise of antibiotic resistance, which poses a serious threat to human health worldwide.
Analyzing data from more than 100 countries over nearly two decades confirms that increased air pollution is associated with increased antibiotic resistance in all countries and on all continents. This means that the more severe the air pollution, the higher the risk of developing antibiotic resistance.
The researchers note that the link between air pollution and antibiotic resistance became more pronounced over time. Moreover, they found that the level of air pollution directly correlated with the level of antibiotic resistance. That is, the higher the air pollution, the more likely you are to develop antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the fastest growing threats to global health. Every year, about 1.3 million people die from antibiotic resistance. This means that unless we take urgent action, we risk being without effective medicines to fight infectious diseases.
Scientific research shows that air pollution can contribute to antibiotic resistance for several reasons:
1. Increased risk of infections:
Air pollution can increase the risk of respiratory tract infections, which in turn leads to more frequent antibiotic prescriptions. The more antibiotics used, the more likely it is that resistance to them will develop.
2. Impact on the microbiome:
Air pollution can alter the composition of the microbiome, which is the collection of microorganisms that inhabit our bodies. This can lead to the development of antibiotic resistance, as certain microorganisms may be more resistant to drugs.
3. Presence of antibiotic resistant genes:
Air pollution can contribute to the spread of antibiotic-resistant genes that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics. This can occur through emissions from industrial plants or the use of antibiotics in agriculture.
Experts believe that urgent action is needed to combat antibiotic resistance and air pollution. They offer the following recommendations:
– Reduce air pollution: Measures should be taken to reduce air pollutant emissions. This could include tightening environmental standards for industry and transportation, and encouraging the use of clean energy sources.
– Judicious use of antibiotics: Doctors and patients need to be more responsible about the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics should be used only when necessary and prescribed by a doctor. The use of antibiotics in agriculture should also be reduced.
– Research and development of new antibiotics: Investments should be made in research and development of new antibiotics that will be effective in combating antibiotic resistance.