Did you know that there are more bacterial cells in a human body than human cells?
Bacteria are in fact an essential part of the human body. They help in breaking down the food we consume and help in the functioning of the immune system. They even produce some vitamins that are vital for the human body. However, there are two types of bacteria- beneficial and harmful. The harmful ones can cause serious infections in the body and are the reason we suffer from diseases like typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera, and many more.
There was a time when humans were considered to be self-sufficient by the scientists due to the presence of beneficial bacteria in the body. But, as we evolved, we discovered that our body does require external help. Sometimes the effect of harmful bacteria is too much to fight for the beneficial bacteria in the body alone. That was the time when the need for antibiotics was realized and soon after that we found a solution to our illness.
The establishment of antibiotics came with a simple set of rules to follow. –
- Antibiotics should only be used as and when prescribed.
- They should only be prescribed when truly required.
- It is necessary to complete the full course.
However, we break these rules far too often. And this has led to the arising problem of antimicrobial resistance. Every time we take an antibiotic, the sensitive bacteria are killed that temporarily cure the illness, but the resistant bacteria might be left to grow. This results in making the antibiotics less efficient for future use. It happens majorly with inadequate or overuse of antibiotics.
With improper use of antibiotics, the problem has grown so much that it has become a danger for the future generation. Antibiotics are becoming more and more resistant to certain types of bacteria. More drugs are becoming antibiotic resistant and that will soon bring us back to the time when we had no medicine to control our illness. Like the early times, people will be dying of infections that now are curable within days.
To control the situation, scientists have come up with a solution of surveillance. It will provide a timely feedback of data to the stakeholders with an aim to initiate actions, in order to prevent the public health from the threat of antibiotic resistance by being frequently monitored.
Analyzing this data along with clinical public health records will provide an insight about the susceptibility of antibiotics and what further actions must be taken to keep a control on the situation. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Surveillance usually involves following steps:
- Determining the specimens to be collected.
- Selection of the antibiotics that require testing.
- Creating a standardized operation procedure.
- Training for analysis
- Data gathering, analysis and reporting.
- Giving feedbacks.
- Spreading awareness
The surveillance requires a severe analysis through management of large data. Analysis applications are specially designed for the purpose that make the job easier and gives the users a privilege to focus on the core objective. It has become a national strategy to overcome the threat to the use of antibiotics.
TSP LLC provided Montefiore Medical Center with Web-Based and HIPAA-Compliant Infection Surveillance and Analysis Application Using IBM Rational Rapid Developer. The Vice President of Montefiore stated the need for a systematic and prospective model to identify and analyze the patterns of the issue which was achieved through Electronic Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Data Management & Analysis Center (EARSDMAC) application. It is now an integral part of their infection control system.