Cancer-causing stomach bug has been TWO times difficult to treat with antibiotics in the last 20 years
- Experts measure the resistance percentages of Helicobacter pylori against antibiotics
- Rates for clarithromycin have risen from 10% in 1998 to almost 22% last year
- Professor Francis Megraud, author of the study, said the trend & # 39; alarming & # 39; used to be
Antibiotic resistance to a cancer-causing super bacterium has more than doubled in two decades, scientists have warned.
The resistance percentages of Helicobacter pylori against clarithromycin have increased from less than 10% in 1998 to almost 22% last year.
Professor Francis Megraud, a microbiologist at the University of Bordeaux, France, and lead author of the study, described the trend as & # 39; alarming & # 39 ;.
His team looked at clarithromycin, levofloxacin and metronidazole – the most important antimicrobials used to kill H. pylori.
Helicobacter pylori resistance rates to clarithromycin have increased from less than 10% in 1998 to nearly 22% last year
In the first study of its kind, they analyzed their effect on 1,232 patients in 18 countries in Europe, including Ireland.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that superugs are one of the greatest threats to humanity.
It has called aggressive strains of H. pylori – strongly linked to stomach ulcers and stomach cancer – among the most dangerous.
Professor Megraud said: & # 39; H. Pylori infection is already a complex condition to treat and requires a combination of medicines. & # 39;
He said the resistance rate for common antibiotics such as clarithromycin is increasing with an & alarming rate of almost one percent per year & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Treatment options for H. pylori are gradually being restricted and are not effective if new treatment strategies remain undeveloped & # 39 ;, he added.
& # 39; The reduced efficacy of current therapies could maintain the high incidence of gastric cancer and other conditions such as stomach ulcers, as drug resistance continues to increase at this rate. & # 39;
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that superugs are one of the greatest threats to humanity. It has named H. pylori – strongly associated with stomach ulcers and stomach cancer – among the most dangerous
H. pylori is one of the most common infections that affects up to one in two people.
It can cause inflammation of the stomach lining or gastritis, leading to stomach ulcers. In the UK alone, the disorder affects up to one in 15 people.
The bacterium is also one of the most important risk factors for stomach cancer, also known as stomach cancer – the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide.
In recent years, antibiotic resistance to H. pylori has become a prominent and urgent problem worldwide.
In Ireland, a quarter of the patients (25.6 percent) were resistant to clarithromycin, the main drug for the bacteria – compared to only one in 20 (five percent) in Denmark.
Only five other countries performed worse: Italy (36.9 percent), Croatia (34.6 percent), Greece (30 percent), Poland (28.5 percent) and Bulgaria (26.9 percent).
The UK was not considered in the study presented at a meeting in Barcelona by the United European Gastroenterology.
Professor Megraud's team now plans to compare the data with the level of antibiotic use in individual countries.
Prof. Mario Dinis-Ribeiro, the president of the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, said: “The findings are certainly worrying.
& # 39; H. Pylori is the leading cause of stomach disease and stomach cancer. The increasing resistance of H. pylori to a number of commonly used antibiotics can jeopardize prevention strategies. & # 39;
The departing chief medical officer of England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, has warned that antibiotic resistance is at risk of bringing drugs back into the dark ages.
WHAT IS ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?
Antibiotics have been dispensed unnecessarily by general practitioners and hospital staff for decades, so that once harmless bacteria are supplied with super poison.
The World Health Organization has warned earlier if nothing is done, the world was moving towards a & # 39; post-antibiotic & # 39; era.
It claimed that common infections, such as chlamydia, will become murderers without immediate answers to the growing crisis.
Bacteria can become resistant to medicines when people take the wrong doses of antibiotics, or they are distributed unnecessarily.
Chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies claimed in 2016 that the threat of antibiotic resistance is just as serious as terrorism.
Figures estimate that superugs will kill ten million people every year by 2050, with patients succumbing to once harmless insects.
About 700,000 people die every year as a result of drug-resistant infections, including tuberculosis (TB), HIV and malaria around the world.
There have been repeated concerns that drugs will be returned to the & # 39; dark ages & # 39; if antibiotics will no longer be effective in the coming years.
In addition to the fact that existing drugs are becoming less effective, only one or two new antibiotics have been developed in the last 30 years.
In September, the World Health Organization warned that antibiotics were running out & # 39; because in a report a & # 39; serious defect & # 39; new drugs in the development pipeline.
Without antibiotics, caesarean sections, cancer treatments and hip replacements, it would also be incredibly risky & # 39; was said at the time.
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