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China faces tough battle against antibiotic resistance

03-23-2012 09:12 BJT

BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Research by the Ministry of Health indicates that antibiotic resistance in China may be a threat to public health, an official from the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology at Peking University said Thursday.

In 2010, the ministry collected more than 270,000 isolated bacteria samples from 128 hospitals across the country to study antibiotic resistance.

The results showed that resistance rates for some bacteria have reached nearly 80 percent, creating a severe situation for medical health professionals, said Lu Yuan, head of the institute.

Lu said the resistance rate in China is higher than in other countries, but no effective treatments have been established to counteract the resistance.

Antibacterial drugs have been in clinical use for about 70 years and have saved millions of lives. However, they have also given rise to new strains of hardy bacteria that can live and even thrive despite the use of the drugs.

"The inappropriate use and abuse of antibacterial drugs are the main reasons for the increase," said Lu.

The ministry said that the government has paid great attention to the usage of antibacterial drugs, adding that resistance rates should be decreased by "strengthening administration" and seeking international assistance.

China and the European Union launched the China-EU antibiotic resistance project on Wednesday, hoping to tackle the global issue together. John Dall, a member of the European Commission, said at an opening ceremony for the project that more than 25,000 Europeans have died due to increased drug resistance.

The Ministry of Health has made some efforts to study and reduce antibiotic resistance in recent years. In 2004, a website for monitoring antibacterial drug resistance was created by Peking University First Hospital, allowing researchers to publish statistics and findings every year.

In the same year, China issued its first national guideline on the clinical use of antibacterial medicine. The guideline classified antibacterial drugs into three types based on their clinical effects and asked hospitals to adopt different prescription regulations for each type.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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