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Revista Médica del Uruguay

Print version ISSN 0303-3295On-line version ISSN 1688-0390


CAMOU, Teresa; ZUNINO, Pablo  and  HORTAL, María. Antimicrobial resistance alarm: current situation and challenges. Rev. Méd. Urug. [online]. 2017, vol.33, n.4, pp.104-127. ISSN 0303-3295.

The recent increase of antimicrobial resistance is a compelling problem that may compromise the health of future generations and result in us going back to the pre-antibiotic era, unless it is battled on time. In order to face this threat, global health organizations called countries to articulate new strategies to fight against antimicrobial resistance, by encouraging them to adopt a health centered approach that involves different actors and institutions. This report provides updated information, explaining the reasons why antimicrobial resistance is no longer a medical dilemma but rather a complex phenomenon that also affects agricultural and livestock production and the development and economy of countries. Antibiotic exposure contributes to the selection of resistant mutants and favors the horizontal transference of mobile genetic elements (MGE) such as plasmids, integrons and transposons, which carry several resistance genes against antibiotic families. Antibiotic therapy, still in justified situations, exerts selective pressure that favors the predominance of resistant bacteria mutants, and thus infections need to be avoided by optimizing hygiene conditions and relying on immunization. Also, alternative therapies are tried, as those based on bacteriophagists or probiotics. The Global Action Plan proposed by the WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health and the FAO to control antimicrobial resistance comprises five goals: to improve awareness and knowledge on antimicrobial resistance; to strengthen surveillance and research; to reduce the incidence of infection; to optimize the use of antimicrobial agents and to ensure a lasting funding that guarantees the continuation of control actions.

Keywords : Bacterial drug resistance; Anti-bacterial agents; Global health; Health programs and plans.

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