The connection among longevity, climate change and antimicrobial resistance

Is there a relationship between longevity and antibiotic resistance due to the climate crisis?

by Lorenzo Ciotti
The connection among longevity, climate change and antimicrobial resistance
© Christopher Furlong / Staff Getty Images News

The abuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics have contributed to the emergence of resistant bacteria. The problem is further aggravated by the self-prescription of antibiotics by individuals who take them without the prescription of a qualified doctor, and by the systematic use of antibiotics as growth promoters in livestock farming. Antibiotics are often prescribed for situations where their use is not warranted, such as in cases where infections may clear up without treatment. The overuse of antibiotics such as penicillin and erythromycin, which were once considered miracle cures, have been associated with resistance emerging since the 1950s. The therapeutic use of antibiotics in hospitals has been seen to be associated with an increase in multi -bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Climate crisisi
Climate crisisi© Christopher Furlong / Staff Getty Images News

Common forms of antibiotic misuse include. Excessive use of antibiotics in travellers' prophylaxis. In case of medical prescription, failure to take into account the patient's weight and history of previous antibiotic use, since both factors can strongly influence the effectiveness of a treatment prescription for antibiotics. Failure to take the entire prescribed course of antibiotic, failure to prescribe or follow the course of treatment at specific daily intervals, or failure to rest for sufficient recovery to permit clearance of the infecting organism. All of these practices mentioned can facilitate the development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial populations. Inappropriate antibiotic treatment is another common form of antibiotic abuse.

Climate Crisis
Climate Crisis© Christopher Furlong / Staff Getty Images News

But is there a connection between longevity, climate change and antimicrobial resistance?

The study The twin challenges of longevity and climate change in controlling antimicrobial resistance, published in The Journal of antibiotics, did not provide an answer to this question.

“Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the global health challenges of the 21st century that faces the dual threat of global climate change and increased longevity, which pose a synergistic risk for the management of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial agents are very required due to the challenges faced by increasing life expectancy and dynamic changes in disease ecology induced by climate change. In light of global aging and climate change, the complexity and importance of addressing resistance to antibiotics are further highlighted by this interplay of issues,” said the researchers.