Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of bacteria to develop a resistance to the things we use to treat them. These pathogens are living organisms, and it’s natural for them to mutate to their surroundings in order to survive. These mutations can enable the pathogen to resist antibiotics and cleaning products that would have previously killed them.
AMR is a serious issue, and failure to address it could result in an estimated 10 million deaths each year globally, by 2050. It is expected to cost the global economy £66 trillion.
How pathogens develop AMR
There are 3 main types of antibiotics that can be used to treat a range of bacterial infections. Between the years of 1962 and 2000, there were no new significant developments in the field of antibiotics, each new drug was a reformulation of an existing one, designed to beat mutated bacteria.
Despite the constant reworking of existing antibiotics to tackle new mutations of pathogens, it’s still an uphill battle for healthcare professionals everywhere. UK hospitals are regularly faced with patients who have contagious pathogens with no known antibiotic cure, which has caused shutdowns of A&E departments in the past.
Although AMR will occur naturally over time, just as all other organisms mutate or evolve, our actions are accelerating the rate at which pathogens develop resistance to antibiotics. It’s become normal to request antibiotics from GPs for all manner of illness, not just the serious infections that require them.
The more that we take antibiotics in cases where they’re not truly necessary, the more the bacteria we’re fighting will develop resistance. This leads to a dangerous situation where, when antibiotics are necessary, they might not work as intended thanks to AMR.
We can already see this happening in the world around us, with previously treatable conditions such as gonorrhoea developing complete resistance to the traditional antibiotic remedy. The United Nations has issued a paper urging the world to act on this issue, titled ‘No Time to Wait: Securing the future from drug-resistant infections’.
Antimicrobial resistance usually occurs once a pathogen is inside the body, so when you contract an illness, antibiotics may be less effective at treating it. However, along with adopting better antibiotic habits (i.e. only taking them when necessary), there are other ways to fight AMR.
One of these ways is to combat AMR by reducing the ability of the superbugs to spread from one person to the next, through improved cleaning and hygiene protocols.
By implementing effective procedures, it’s possible to limit the spread of bugs that antibiotics can no longer kill. These bacteria don’t just live in hospitals, they live on farms, shops, offices and public transport too, so maintaining a clean and tidy area is very important – especially in public places.
Every infection that is prevented through thorough cleaning reduces the need for antibiotics, which lessens the potential for the development of resistance.
Using Clorox products for antimicrobial cleaning
Clorox manufacture some of the most effective cleaning products in the world. You should look for products that will kill E.coli, klebsiella pneumoniae and pseudomonas aeruginosa – the three most dangerous bacteria. E.coli is the biggest threat in the UK: 40,580 cases were reported by NHS trusts in England between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017
The Clorox Total 360 System enables superior coverage of any surface through electrostatic technology. It covers the sides, undersides and backsides of surfaces and will kill 99.9% of bacteria in 5 seconds including cold and flu, MRSA and Norovirus, as well as reducing pathogens.
Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Sanitiser will eliminate bacteria including salmonella, E.coli, staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus and pneumoniae. With no harsh fumes and no harmful residue left behind it is gentle to the skin.
Clorox Bleach Germicidal Cleaning Liquid suitable for food contact surfaces, kills salmonella, e.coli and listeria, as well as MRSA, norovirus and influenza.
Clorox Fuzion Cleaner Disinfectant this includes a neutraliser that breaks down bleach to minimise residue and odours. This is a highly effective disinfectant with broad surface compatibility and will kill 53 microorganisms in two minutes or less.
Clorox’s range of effective disinfectants are formulated to protect from dangerous pathogens and viruses. Although the process of antimicrobial resistance happens organically, it can be slowed by reducing human exposure to antibiotics and improving hygiene to stop the spread of the bacteria in the first place. Maintaining excellent personal hygiene, as well as keeping surfaces free from germs, will help to ensure that we are able to protect ourselves against antimicrobial resistance.