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Antibiotic use is rapidly increasing in developing countries

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"Meanwhile, back in the States.."
(from Stranded in the Jungle by the New York Dolls)
New deadly drug mix hits Northeast Ohio, overdose deaths increase
Cocaine mixed with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has contributed to a rising number of drug overdose deaths across the state. In Cuyahoga County, the number of cocaine-related overdose deaths went from 110 to 220 in 2016.
"In 2017, that number was about 350. These are dramatic rises," said Gilson.


Are the numbers cited in this article based on aggregate antibiotic use per 1000, or is it specifically antibiotic use on humans per 1000? The reason I ask is that because in many countries (in particular the U.S.) a significant proportion of antibiotic usage was for livestock. The U.S. recently changed its laws and now forbids non-therapeutic use of antibiotics on livestock, but this practice has for a long time contributed to the overuse of antibiotics and the rise of resistant bacteria.
I think it is important to make this distinction, because antibiotic usage in humans in developing countries is probably a good thing overall. However, unnecessary antibiotic usage (especially in livestock) is a dangerous practice. This article does not explain the distinction or whether the countries listed are using antibiotics exclusively for therapeutic usage (for both humans and animals), or whether the numbers are potentially inflated by preventative usage in livestock.


Americans spread lots of disease in Vietnam. So it's not surprising that Vietnamese use lots of antibiotics.

john4law in reply to sikko6

Gratuitous Anti-American remark. Shows how uninformed most health related comments tend to be. Many need a Death Bed to get serious about their much less others' health. Most of the progress in suppressing once mass killing infectious diseases have come from even rudimentary sanitation and water purification. Antibiotics are much less important than the sanitation standards of a culture to either life expectancy or public health standards.


Do the figures include antibiotics given to livestock?


If your data team would appreciate having its fear level further increased, send one of them to a mom and pop convenience store in any small town in Mexico, where one may purchase a single tablet of Ciprofloxacin.


The oligodynamic effect was described in the 1890s as the effect that heavy metal ions in tiny concentrations had in killing micro-organisms. Witness the use of silver in Japanese toilets to keep stuff pure. It turns out that these same heavy metal ions (also UV light) act exactly like antibiotics in selecting for AMR.
Modern economies allow for an ever increasing spread of "stuff" to people; much of this stuff has copper, mg, mn, and other oligodynamically active minerals, and untangling the relative contribution of antibiotics, metals and UV is fraught. The genetic elements that allow for AMR in hospitals and in pathogenic bacteria arise not in health care settings but rather in nature where they are exposed to metals in mines, polluted factory sites and the rest and have been there for eons so far as anyone can tell. Not even the Buddah can provide guidance here.
The promiscuous use of antibiotics costs money, encourages toxic and allergic reactions and probably does no good, but blaming this abuse for increasing AMR seems to be getting ahead of what is currently established in scientific literature. Correlation is not causation, to quote Daffy Duck; maybe there is causation, maybe not. And the frisson of poor people around the world being especially victimized probably appeals to the simple, but does not especially tug at my heart strings.