Antibiotics' overuse in farming is major new threat to human health
The UN Environment experts addressed the most emerging environmental challenges facing the planet in the latest annual report ‘Frontiers 2017’.
One of the report’s six issues is the environmental dimension of antimicrobial resistance. The report says that antibiotics that has spilled from farms into natural environment may be a bigger factor in spreading resistance to life-saving drugs than previously thought. It is important to focus on reducing antibiotic use, but equally important is to understand more about how resistance is spread through our natural environments. Human exposure to environmental bacteria and to antibiotic resistance genes can take place through drinking water, food consumption or through direct contact with the environment. There is an urgent need to better understand the risks posed by antimicrobial resistance in the environment and to develop sustainable mitigation technologies. In tackling AMR, globally coordinated action intervenes are needed.