‘British Asians have double proportion of antibiotic resistant infections compared to Caucasian counterparts’

‘British Asians have double proportion of antibiotic resistant infections compared to Caucasian counterparts’



LONDON: British Asians have almost double the proportion of antibiotic resistant infections compared to the white UK population. In a debate on biosecurity and the threat of infectious diseases in the House of Lords, cross-bench peer Baroness Murphy spoke about “the global impact of antibiotic resistance, which is brought by travellers from abroad”.
“At the moment, Asian and Asian British ethnic groups have almost double the proportion of antibiotic resistant infections — 35% —compared with only 19% in white British ethnic groups. This is probably because of antibiotic overuse in parts of Asia,” she said. “Recently there was an elegant study looking at subtypes of enterobacteria causing dysentery currently found in India and Pakistan, and you can map the progress of the subtypes cropping up all over the UK. So it is due to international travel. In this age of global travel, the transmission of resistant strains of tropical diseases is of increasing importance.”
She said the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London recently reported 92 travellers arriving in Britain from South Asia and Nigeria with enteric fever, the cause of salmonella, and found that 30% were multiple drug resistant.
“We know that GPs who do not prescribe antibiotics tend to be less popular. Antimicrobial resistance in humans is due to inappropriate or excessive prescribing by doctors”, she said, adding “resistant strains of malaria, HIV and TB are directly related to poor prescribing and inadequate courses of treatment”.
The debate focused on the spread of pathogens and pests to the UK driven by globalisation, climate change and global travel of people, plants and animals and how biosecurity measures at international borders have not kept pace.
Peers discussed how mosquito-transmitted dengue fever virus had caused locally acquired infections in Paris and how Florida and Texas have also seen the first-ever locally acquired cases of malaria.
Viscount Stansgate said: “Another risk that we should take extremely seriously concerns the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animals, which is all too prevalent in parts of south and south-east Asia.”
Baroness Hayman said the air quality in cities in India could be “catastrophic when they have extreme heat events”.





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