Antimicrobial Stewardship: The best approach to combat Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial drugs are an important tool to treat microbial infections, hence proving to be life-saving when you have a serious life-threatening infection.

By  Ayat Fatima 

Introduction

But if they wrong prescribe against a particular infection it will lead to the development of resistance against that particular Antimicrobial drugs. For example, If one is going to treat a viral infection with antibiotics it will give rise to resistance against that particular drug, keep in mind antibiotics should be prescribed against bacterial infection as they have no efficacy against viral infection. So careful use of the antimicrobial drug is important which is the sole purpose of the antimicrobial stewardship program. Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) refers to the proper use of particular antimicrobial drugs against particular microbial infections at the right dose for a specific duration after proper diagnosis. Prescribers like Physicians and veterinarians, Pharmacists, and clinical microbiology labs play a key role in AMS. It is one of the best approach to combat Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) globally.

History

In 1940 Alexander Fleming warned about the wrong use of antimicrobial drugs which is now the concept behind Antimicrobial stewardship. In 2009 the CDC promote the proper use of antimicrobial drugs in hospitals. Now, It is considered one of the best approaches to combat worldwide antimicrobial resistance.

AMS program: Purpose and Why it is important

Promoting the right prescription of antimicrobial drugs and controlling the global rise of AMR is the main purpose of AMS programs.AMS programs are important because they not only prevent the wrong prescription but also protect the patient from the adverse effects of antimicrobial drugs which could have occurred in case of a wrong prescription. Thus promoting public health.

Barriers to AMS programs and their solution

Lack of knowledge about antimicrobial drugs, limited access to clinical microbiology laboratories, the opposition of the public towards the AMS program, and the free availability of antimicrobial drugs to the public without any prescriptions are the main barriers to implementing AMS programs. These barriers can be overcome by changing public attitudes towards AMS programs by raising awareness, the availability of standard clinical microbiology laboratories, and clinician education about the right prescription. Restriction of the general public from buying antimicrobial drugs without prescription should be made mandatory. This can be done by the provision of antimicrobial drugs to only those people with registered clinician prescriptions.

Role of prescribers, pharmacists, and clinical laboratories

Prescribers, pharmacists, and clinical laboratories play a key role in AMS programs by providing information about AMS, infection detection, its transmission, and control as well. Prescribers treat microbial infections with antimicrobial drugs after proper diagnosis. They adopt different strategies of AMS in prescribing antimicrobial drugs for patients which include diagnosis, evaluation of the patient before prescription whether the patient has a severe, moderate, or mild infection, and deciding Is it okay to treat the mild infection without antimicrobial drugs and then making sure the proper dosage regimen. In this way Prescribers By proper prescription of antimicrobial drugs not only treat infections but also reduce the threat of AMR thus promoting the main purpose of AMS. Similarly, pharmacists not only provide basic information about antimicrobial drugs but also play a key role by providing information about their optimal use, the infection spread, and its control by being a part of AMS promoting groups. Clinical microbiology laboratory systems have two most important roles in AMS programs first is the proper detection of the pathogen which aids in proper prescription and then the second major role is antimicrobial susceptibility testing which prevents AMR. Both of these are important to support AMS programs.

Conclusion

The Discovery of antimicrobial drugs is not less than a miracle but the wrong use result is drastic that is already warned by Alexander Fleming after its penicillin drug discovery. And It is proven now as the global rise of AMR and resulting resurgence in morbidity and mortality rate is in front of you. So It is important to promote and implement AMS programs in any health facility in the world and there should be a monitoring system that could monitor to which extent AMS programs implement otherwise, the whole world will suffer from the adverse effects of antimicrobial drugs.