These steps can ensure AMR doesn’t develop in newborn

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The silent pandemic of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can pose a serious challenge when a child or a newborn contracts a drug-resistant infection.

A drug-resistant infection occurs when the microbes that cause it, develop the ability to resist the drugs intended to kill them, causing antimicrobials to fail to cure the infection.

Exposure to the hospital environment and also to caregivers in hospital settings, who attend different neonates at the same time, can further make neonates or children prone to the risk of infection.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 75 per cent of neonatal deaths occur during the first week of life, and in 2019

The majority of neonatal infections are caused by bacteria, and these include pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis. 

Low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) appear to be especially vulnerable, with an estimated 6.9 million cases of potentially serious bacterial infection in young infants aged 0 to 59 days occurring each year.

In a recent October 2022 research published in the Indian Journal of Pediatrics, findings from an 18-month Neonatal Intensive Care Unit dataset from JIPMER

Pondicherry revealed that multidrug-resistant pathogens caused 55 per cent of neonatal bloodstream infections. 

In neonates, multidrug-resistant infections have a 41 per cent mortality rate. Alarming multidrug resistance was also found in 76 per cent of all Elizabethkingia anopheles isolates

The above findings were discussed by one of the authors, Nishad Plakkal in a webinar organized by the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) November 22.

The webinar addressed the issue of antibiotic resistance in the context of neonatal sepsis, the leading killer of babies.

Recognizing the need to put children first for better outcome on drug-resistant infections, experts at the webinar emphasized the importance of developing novel antibiotics.

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