Think twice before taking antibiotics

In Portugal there are strains of bacteria “resistant to almost all” antibiotics. This “huge problem” may result from “lack of a policy for antibiotics that made indiscriminate consumption, increasing the level of resistance both in hospital and community,” says Gabriela Jorge da Silva.

Antibiotics, said scientist are “suitable for a particular type of infection, bacteria and person. Therefore, they must be carefully managed and consumed. ”

In order to find out what the resistance genes that are currently in the country and how bacteria can spread these genes, the researcher and multidisciplinary team at the University of Coimbra (UC), consisting of pharmacists, biologists, public health officials and veterinarians are studying bacteria from hospital, animal and environmental.

With the study results, researchers can “predict which is the spread in the future and create preventable measures to be especially suitable to the hospital environment,” forward Gabriela Jorge da Silva. Research is also important “to discover new antibiotics,” he stresses.

This work focused on the molecular study of resistance and virulence of Acinetobacter sp., E. coli, Klebsiella sp. And Salmonella sp., Was initiated during the doctoral Gabriela J. da Silva, for over 10 years. Over time, “I was diversifying a bit and instead of doing just clinical studies have been included strains of animal and environmental,” also describes the teaching of the Faculty of Pharmacy at UC.

At this time, according to the coordinator of the UC team, they have been discovered “new resistance genes that can inhibit the change of large families of antibiotics” and also identified as “genetic structures that carry these genes.”
What now researchers are doing is to further study the genetic level and “see if bacteria and antibiotics that come to the outside through the waters, for example, want to point can select resistance in the environment.”

Considering the antibiotic resistance “a major problem of public health,” Gabriela J. da Silva believes that to prevent it “has to be a huge education or the medical staff or the people themselves who think that taking antibiotics for the flu is correct. ”

It should be noted that the treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria “imposes new medical appointments, prolongs hospitalization of the patient, suffering and costs associated with increased requires the use of more expensive antibiotics, and contributes to increased mortality rate “.