The future of antibiotics depends on all of us

18 November 2019

World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) is WHO initiative which takes place each November and aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance (AMR). It also encourages best practices to avoid the further emergence and spread of AMR. This year’s public messaging focuses on prevention of infections with basic interventions that are applicable in all settings.

Since their discovery, antibiotics have served as the cornerstone of modern medicine. However, the persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics have encouraged the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

Without antibiotics, we could return to the “pre-antibiotic era”, when organ transplants, cancer treatment, intensive care and other medical procedures would be very risky. Bacterial diseases would spread faster and could no longer be treated effectively, causing death.

In order to raise global awareness about the dangers of AMR, WHO has decided to focus their public message on infection prevention, with interventions that can take place in various settings. By releasing an app where users in a gamified and interactive experience will learn about how we interact with microbes on a daily basis, how bacteria become resistant and the problem with misuse/overuse of antibiotics, they want to demonstrate that all of us can play a role in tackling AMR through simple action and behaviour changes. You can download the ‘WHO: Antimicrobial Resistance’ app from the App Store and Google Play.

The WHO has found that preventing infections is an effective way of reducing the use of antibiotics, and thus, of limiting the spread of antibiotic resistance. They estimate that infection prevention and control can reduce healthcare associated infections by 30%1. Infection prevention is therefore a major key in ensuring safe, effective and high-quality healthcare. Simply put, every infection that is prevented is an antibiotic treatment avoided.

Bactiguards products prevent infection, and hence the need for antibiotics. A clinical study with 853 patients, performed by Lederer et al.2, showed a decrease in antibiotic use with 60% after the Bactiguard coated catheters were introduced due to less infections.

Read more about Bactiguard’s infection prevention solutions:

1. World Health Organization. (2016). The critical role of infection prevention and control. WHO/HIS/SDS/2016.10
2. Lederer JW et al., J WOCN 2014; 41(5):1–8