Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance in Developing Countries and Lessons Learned

  • Aníbal de J. Sosa


Developing countries are not an exemption when we describe the gravity of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and its impact in morbidity and mortality. Emergence of AMR in poor-resource countries is a complex issue that transcends all ethnic groups, races, classes, etc.; however, human beliefs, practices, and behavior are very similar and AMR has lot to do with its growing risk in treatment failures. This situation is not indicative that resistance is a health-care problem until data mining shows inexplicable increasing death rates with many of the most prevalent infectious diseases. In the meantime, emergence of multiresistance microorganisms continues to rise. Multidrug-resistant malaria and tuberculosis are the most frequent situations where treatment failures translate into high rates of morbidity and mortality with the concomitant effects on increasing human suffering, treatment costs, and public health crisis. Often though, policy makers and clinicians do not think outside the box and neglect to investigate antimicrobial resistance as a cause of treatment failures. A good example of it is seen in acute respiratory infections – particularly in children under 5 years of age.

We now confront an alarming situation when pharmaceuticals have forsaken the development of new antimicrobials for considering them of low profitability. This and the occurrence of MDR organisms have brought back old therapies previously abandoned. The availability and access to antimicrobial agents in the developing world are certainly much less than in industrialized countries. On the contrary, access and availability of substandard and counterfeit antimicrobial drugs are quite easy and spread out in poor-resource countries. Most of the developing countries lack effective policies and regulations in place to guarantee effective and timely access to essential medications. This, in turn translates to the public seeking easy solutions with inadequate treatment schemes.


Respiratory Syncytial Virus Antimicrobial Resistance Acute Respiratory Infection Oral Amoxicillin Public Awareness Campaign 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alliance for the Prudent Use of AntibioticsBostonUSA

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