Express press service
HYDERABAD: Doctors at Kakatiya Medical College are alarmed by a bizarre development in the past fortnight where two patients have been found to be resistant to 11 major types of antibiotics, raising concerns about the rise of the disease antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the community. Both patients had reached the hospital’s pulmonology department with lung problems and tests revealed they were resistant to major antibiotics.
“A patient, a 50-year-old man, previously had a high fever and was prescribed high levels of antibiotics by an RMP. There was no respite and it eventually turned into chest pain as a result of which he came to us. We diagnosed him with a pleural effusion and removed the fluid from his chest using needles,” explained Dr. Naresh M, Assistant Professor, Department of Respirology , KMC.
This fluid was then sent for culture where it was discovered that a bacterium – Acinetobacter – was present and resistant to 11 types of antibiotics. In another case, a patient arrived at the hospital with pneumonia within the last fortnight and, after culture tests, was found to be resistant to antibiotics.
“Their case history shows that they were given antibiotics like imipenem, meropenem and piperacillin etc. which are very strong and not needed for the common fever, infections etc. The abuse of drugs in the past has made them resistant to those drugs, which makes treatment extremely difficult,” Dr. Naresh said.
Risks include the patient’s current bacterial conditions that go untreated and progress to sepsis and even death. “Currently, we are doing blind treatment by subscribing to a higher dose of antibiotics at the highest level. The patient’s natural immunity will now play a crucial role and diet and nutrition would be of the utmost importance,” the doctor said, adding that the rural location and sudden rise in cases left him worried about a bigger silent threat.
Experts have long warned the healthcare community to prescribe drugs wisely, as during the pandemic there has been widespread abuse of these antibiotics. Earlier, the Infection Control Academy even hosted a conference that highlighted growing concerns about antimicrobial resistance. Telangana currently has no policies in place to address antimicrobial resistance, unlike states like Delhi and Kerala which have adopted strategies to address this global health risk.