Antibiotic resistance linked to corruption in controls say researchers

High levels of corruption in government and poor governance has been determined to be a primary cause of antibiotic resistance which threatens millions of people because so many bacteria are now totally antibiotic resistant. These are the findings of the Australian National University (ANU) School of Medicine and its lead researcher Peter Collignon.

“We found poor governance and higher levels of corruption are associated with higher levels of antibiotic resistance,” lead researcher Peter Collignon from The Australian National University (ANU) School of Medicine said.

Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global health priority. The World Health Organisation describes it as a coming crisis in which common and treatable infections are becoming life threatening.

Collignon said the research suggests that addressing corruption and control of antibiotics could help lower antibiotic resistance and save lives.

The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that a country’s level of antibiotic resistance is not related to its wealth. It also found that nations with higher levels of corruption often had less rigorous and less transparent processes, with less effective controls over areas pertinent to antibiotic resistance.

In countries with greater corruption, antibiotic usage may also be much higher than what is recorded. They also found that resistance levels were higher when healthcare was performed by the private sector.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers