In a world challenged by microbes resistant to antibiotics, many medical interventions that rely on these medicines to ward off infection — chemotherapy, organ transplants, C-sections, and hip replacements, to name a few — will continue to become riskier than they already are.
Many factors contribute to this bleak scenario. These include poor infection control, misdiagnosis, misuse and overuse of antibiotics, and the use of substandard or falsified medicines. Another key contributor is the presence of antibiotics in the environment. These can come from agricultural applications (animal and crops) and run off, from human and animal waste, and from wastewater emitted by antibiotic manufacturing plants.