CONTAINING ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Since the serendipitous discovery of penicillin in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming and its subsequent development by Howard Walter Florey, there has been a silent reservation amongst scientists of a possibility of resistance to these drugs by microbes. Since the middle of last century, antimicrobial resistance has become a global health worry. This led to the declaration of propaganda in 2001 by the World Health Organisation, for the containment of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance is a health concern all around the world but in the developing countries, it is a huge health concern. In developing countries, particularly in Africa, antimicrobial resistance has led to the death of many people. Around 9.2 million people die yearly of infectious or parasitic diseases, a large chunk of this deaths could have been avoided if a suitable way of containment of antimicrobial resistance has been put in place in these countries. (HART 1998).
Antimicrobial resistance by pathogens involves the detoxification of drugs by the pathogens. This renders the drugs less potent against the pathogens. Pathogens have different mechanisms with which they carry out their resistance to drugs, some of this mechanisms include;
Decreased import or increased export of drugs: Pathogens can modify themselves at the cellular or genetic level to decrease the rate at which drugs are transported into the cell or they can increase the rate at which the drug is exported out the cell of the pathogens, effectively disabling the drugs.
Deactivation of active drug: Some pathogens convert drugs into their inactive form. For example, some bacteria secrete an enzyme called beta-lactamase. Beta-lactamase acts on beta-lactam drugs like penicillin and cephamycins, by opening up the beta lactam ring in those drugs which in turn renders the drug inactive.
Development of resistance to...