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Docs! Be as wise as microbes

india Updated: Nov 17, 2006 00:06 IST
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DISEASE-CAUSING microbes are very intelligent. Doctors and people need to be as intelligent to tackle them.

Dr KN Prasad, additional professor, department of microbiology, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), said while addressing a press conference to announce CME-cum-workshop on ‘Update in clinical microbiology’ at SGPGIMS here on Thursday. The event is beginning on Friday.

Dr Prasad said if antibiotics are administered to kill microorganisms, then the microorganism brings about genetic changes in it to protect itself from the antibiotics. This is called antibiotic resistance.

The microbes also have some kind of solidarity amongst themselves. Many times after attaining resistance against some drugs, a kind of microbe pass on the resistance to other kind of microbes too.

“Doctors must stop nonsense,” said Dr AK Mahapatra, director of the institute referring to general tendency of doctors to prescribe antibiotics (most of the times several kinds of them at a time) indiscriminately. Generally, the doctors do antibiotics prescription on the basis of symptom, while it should be done after investigation, said Dr Mahapatra.

“When a patient comes with some disease, then before prescribing any antibiotic, a doctor should first go for a microbiological evaluation and find out if disease causing microbes are present or not. If microbes are found, then does the treatment require antibiotics. And if antibiotics are required, then they should analyse as which antibiotics are required to be prescribed,” said Dr Prasad.

There should be judicious prescription as well as administration of antibiotics, he added. To this Dr Mahapatra said: “I just met a senior bureaucrat who had some illness. I asked him what medicines he had been prescribed and taking. He was taking five different antibiotics prescribed by his doctor.”

Dr Mahapatra said the disease-causing microbes are becoming resistant to a growing list of antibiotics. New antibiotics are barely able to keep pace with developing drug resistance.

“To develop an effective antimicrobial molecule (antibiotic), it takes at least 10-15 years of research and crores and crores of rupees. On the other hand, as soon as an antibiotic is introduced for treatment in hospital setup, due to selective pressure the bug develops resistance by single or few mutations in their genes and the therapy becomes ineffective,” said Dr Mahapatra.

With the aim of spreading awareness among the doctors about use of antibiotic resistance, the department of microbiology, SGPGIMS organised the workshop.