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World sleep-walking into post-antibiotic era Boylan

19 November, 2015 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan today reacted to shocking new developments on the state of global antibiotic resistance.

‘A discovery in China during a routine test on farmed pigs has revealed the presence of bacteria resistant to the last group of antibiotics left after all others haven’t worked. This news is deeply concerning for the state of human health given that antibiotic resistance in animals is transferrable to humans. Without viable antibiotics we are looking at a future where routine procedures or life-saving therapies such as chemotherapy may be rendered impossible.

‘We are now dealing with an incredibly serious situation where we have over-used and misused our various antibiotics to the point where our antibiotic of last-resort is being rendered ineffective. The extent of the damage this will now have on human health remains to be seen but this news must be a wake-up call to countries across the globe that we cannot continue to sleep-walk our way into a post-antibiotic world.

‘Back in February, as a co-author of a European report on this issue I warned that antibiotic resistance was a ticking time-bomb. The fact that the superbug in China was discovered in farm animals highlights once again the need to stop treating healthy animals with antibiotics whilst underlining the serious issues with abusing antibiotics in animals which are so important to humans. Antibiotics of last resort must be strictly reserved for humans as they are crucial in fighting multi-resistant bacteria which is ever more present. Already, 25,000 people in Europe die because of antimicrobial resistance.

Overuse and misuse of this sort can only lead to wider spread of resistance and a severe impact on human health and steps must be taken by all stakeholders to urgently address the situation.’

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