Next pandemic could be caused by excessive use of antibiotics, experts say

The phenomenon, called antimicrobial resistance, has been exacerbated by the pandemic, a study shows


Giulia Bottaro, Proactive Investors (UK)

03 Jun 2021


The next pandemic could be caused by the excessive use of antibiotics, which can become less effective as bacteria get used to them and develop new defences.


Itís a phenomenon called antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which a new study shows has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


At the start of the outbreak, tens of thousands patients were prescribed antibiotics even though they didnít have a confirmed bacterial infection.


Thatís because the dry cough associated with coronavirus made it difficult to take saliva samples, while doctors and nurses avoided deep lung swabs in fear of contracting the virus.


The research, published in The Lancet Microbe, analysed nearly 49,000 patients across the UK.


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the clinical pipeline of new antimicrobials is dry, as there were only 32 antibiotics in clinical development that address the WHO list of priority pathogens, of which only six were classified as innovative as of 2019...