Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is fueling an alarming rise in antibiotic use – a worrying fact that is well known recent report of a Ukrainian soldier who was injured and contracted six drug-resistant bacteria, which were resistant to all drugs tested.
Health experts warn that the invincible germs will spread beyond the borders of the war-torn country. “Given the forced migration of people, drug resistance of pathogens is now a problem not only in Ukraine but also for the medical system of the world, especially in the EU,” Ukrainian scientists and doctors wrote. recent letter in the Irish Journal of Medical Scientists.
The rise of antibiotic resistance is a long-term, serious threat to public health worldwide. In 2019, antimicrobial resistance caused approximately 1.27 million deaths worldwide and is associated with approximately 4.95 million. according to an analysis published last year in the Lancet.
But chaos and war disasters can exacerbate and accelerate the problem by creating favorable conditions for antimicrobial resistance to rise. War causes severe and complicated wounds, which are often affected by natural bacteria, dust, soil, and metal from bombs. Toxic metals can encourage bacteria set, select, and share genetic resistance to drugs. And blackheads create different types of pathogens to share medicine.
At this time, the injured are often exposed to broken and very difficult health systems, where appropriate methods of infection control are not possible, and laboratory tests to determine the treatment of bacterial infections do not exist. Many antibiotics are often readily administered to keep people alive during evacuation, which sometimes involves passing through a chain of hospitals before reaching safety. Heavy drug use is known to promote drug resistance. And, jumping from one chaotic hospital to another provides an opportunity for vulnerable patients to pick up and spread drug-resistant infections from bacteria that hide in the medical environment—aka nosocomial infections.
In 2021, Ukrainian researchers released a study demonstrating the drug resistance of the bacteria plaguing military hospitals in that country, finding resistance rates were higher than in public hospitals in the country and in Europe. For example, among the isolates of Acinetobacter baumanniithe cause of nosocomial infections, 68 percent were resistant to carbapenem antibiotics, a group of antibiotics that are often used as a last line defense.
The threat of the superbugs lurking is realized in the report of a Ukrainian soldier, a man in his mid-50s. He was injured in a car fire and suffered burns to 60 percent of his body. He was first admitted to a hospital near Dnipro, Ukraine, before being transferred to Kyiv and later admitted to a military hospital in the United States in Germany.
In Germany, health workers tested him for blood, urine, respiratory, and disease samples. They discovered six, drug-resistant (XDR) diseases: A. baumannii, Enterococcus faecium, Klebsiella pneumoniaeand three different types of P. aeruginosa. Everyone was allergic to many types of drugs. The K. pneumonia, another common nosocomial infection, was resistant to all drugs tested. It carried 24 antimicrobial resistance genes. It also showed genetic markers of hypervirulence.
The A. baumannii The isolates had 18 types of antimicrobial resistance, although they appeared to be susceptible to at least four antibiotics. The three P. aeruginosa isolates were of different strains, but all were resistant to 20 of the 23 antibiotics tested. And the E. feces isolate had eight resistance genes and was resistant to vancomycin, another last resort drug.
The authors of the report, led by Patrick Mc Gann, a medical expert and deputy director of the Multidrug-Resistant Organism Repository and Surveillance Network at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland, also emphasized the threat of drug-resistant bacteria spreading from Ukraine: “Health care providers those treating Ukrainian citizens should be aware of the increased risk of [multi-drug resistant] transmission and conflict-related diseases in Ukraine and the implementation of appropriate disease control measures to reduce their spread. “