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Are you eating unnecessary antibiotics?

Unnecessary antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was discussed in Helsingin Sanomat supplement and published in Kansanterveys.fi last week. The professor of bacteriology from University of Turku, Jaana Vuopio, was interviewed for this article, pointing out that many of us have antibiotics for viral infection even though antibiotics are useful only in case of bacterial infection. It is often impossible to differentiate if the infection is viral or bacterial based on signs and symptoms only, especially in case of respiratory infections. This uncertainty of the pathogen leads to overuse of antibiotics and increase of AMR.

The discovery of antibiotics in the 1940s was groundbreaking because it decreased the death rate of several serious infections. Today antibiotics are still lifesaving medication but also a serious threat. Overusage of antibiotics has led to acquired antimicrobial resistance which in turn increases again the risk of life-threatening serious infections. In order to be able to use antibiotics also in future, action is needed. Shorter antibiotic courses and additional test to support the diagnosis can be efficient solutions. ‘For example rapid CRP tests can help to detect bacterial infections right away at the doctor’s practice and support the diagnosis’, says professor Vuopio.

Read the whole article (in Finnish): http://www.kansanterveys.fi/hengityselimet/syotko-antibiootteja-turhaan