Silent Pandemic Warning for Unconscious Antibiotic Use

SAFAKNA TURKEY – Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at ANKARA University prof. Dr. Ender Yarsan reported that every year 700,000 people in the world die due to infection caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria as a result of the unconscious use of antibiotics. prof. Dr. Yarsan said: “There are studies that this number will reach 10 million in 2050 if no action is taken. This means 1 human death every 3 seconds. “If no action is taken against antibiotic resistance, which is currently a ‘silent pandemic’, then at some point it will become a real pandemic, as happened with the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ankara University Prof. Dr. Ender Yarsan stated that 18 November is “European Antibiotic Awareness Day” and stated that antibiotics are etiological treatments that are used in the fight against infections and are of strategic importance. Noting that antibiotics should be used directly for infections caused by bacteria, Yarsan said:

“To have a rational effect, they must be used rationally and consciously. If yes, then the therapeutic benefit is provided. If this is not the case, then some negative effects will occur due to antibiotics. Antibiotics can have direct adverse effects on human or animal health, depending on the animal species used. In addition, there may be residual risk. Antibiotics are widely used in veterinary medicine. We have about 1600 licensed drugs used in veterinary medicine. More than 800 of these drugs are antibiotics. Therefore, it is used by weight. Because of this, there may be a residual risk. This can also affect people who are in the position of final consumers through the remainder. In addition, the immune system can be suppressed in the target organism. In addition, an event called a “silent pandemic” may occur, which is an extremely important issue today. Target bacteria can develop drug resistance. Even if you use the medicine at will, the real effects expected from this medicine, that is, from the antibiotic, will no longer be. This is expressed in the development of antibiotic resistance. When the issue is addressed in this way, it is important for both animal health and public health.


Recalling that the Covid-19 pandemic, which began at the end of 2019, swept the whole world, Prof. Dr. Yarsan said: “The situation that scared us during the pandemic is the deaths caused by Covid-19. It started in December 2019, today we are at the end of 2022. The number of deaths from Covid-19 worldwide is about 6.5 million. If no action is taken on antibiotic resistance, if the process goes like this, if this situation, called a “silent pandemic”, continues, the current numbers will be as follows: Every year, 700,000 people die worldwide due to antibiotic-resistant microorganisms. This figure is 33,000 in the European Union and 35,000 in the US. There is currently 1 human death every 45 seconds. If the “silent pandemic” continues like this, if action is not taken, according to the published report, if no action is taken, then by 2050 this number will reach 10 million people. This means 1 human death every 3 seconds. These are truly frightening numbers. For this reason, its importance is not disclosed, but the existence of a “silent pandemic” is also recognized.


prof. Dr. Saying that antibiotics are used in both veterinary and human medicine, Yarsan said: “Comparing antibiotics to this form, approximately 30 percent of antibiotics are used in human medicine and up to 70 percent in animal health services. Therefore, it is more used in veterinary medicine. In terms of antibiotic use potential, Turkey ranks first in OECD countries worldwide. In terms of antibiotic resistance, we are second only to Greece in the world. So those numbers are really high. That’s why we have to take precautions, be conscious and plan the right things ahead of time. If no action is taken against antibiotic resistance, which currently continues as a “silent pandemic”, then at some point it will become a real pandemic, as happened with the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, these future studies should be carried out and planned in advance,” he said.


prof. Dr. Emphasizing that countries are not in a position to individually think about precautionary measures in this matter, Yarsan said: “This issue has been discussed from an international perspective. In October 2022, 4 international health organizations merged. A joint declaration was issued in the form of a “one health” declaration. At this point, they began to think about what to do next. Both are under the auspices of “one health”; but that was the approach to antimicrobial resistance. There are expressions “now the topic is important, yes, let it be emphasized.” Countries should implement certain strategies at their own discretion and work to raise awareness.” What needs to be done is to deal with this event in a one-health approach, show will and resolutely focus on it. If these approaches are combined, then at least the fight against the incident can be carried out on a national scale,” he said.

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