It’s important for everyone to take antibiotic resistance to heart. If the world loses the ability to fight bacterial infections, a simple cut could turn deadly.
What can one person do? One important step is to only take antibiotics when they are absolutely necessary, take exactly as prescribed, and always finish the entire amount prescribed to you. Misuse of antibiotics is the leading contributor to antibiotic resistance. Additionally, personal hygiene is as important as ever. Preventing bacterial infections in the first place will eliminate visits to the doctor and the need for antibiotics.
One new discovery is turning the body itself against invaders: scientists have found that a molecule produced by the body—called LL-37—changes the way cells behave when they are invaded by bacteria. Dr. Donald J. Davidson from the MRC Centre for Inflammation Research said: “Our search for alternative and complementary treatments for antibiotic-resistant infections is becoming ever more urgent. Trying to boost the best of the human body’s effective natural defences, like this, may prove to be an important part of our future solutions.”
Another solution, phage therapy, relies on the use of naturally-occurring phages to infect and lyse bacteria at the site of infection. Although there are several clinical trials ongoing, there is only one FDA-approved phage therapy product on the market that is being used to kill a virulent food-borne pathogen.
Rather than focusing on how to beat disease once it has affected a person, an even better way is to prevent illness from happening. Eliminating the need for antibiotics will help our current ones perform better, and reduce the need for new antibiotics to be researched and approved.
Personal hygiene is an important first step, and convenient hand sanitizers have become a way to keep hygiene in your pocket. Although they may not be quite as effective as a thorough hand washing, gel-based hand sanitizers are certainly better than nothing.
Keeping surfaces clean and free from illness-causing bacteria and germs is part of any facility’s fight against illness. Advances in sanitization include passive antimicrobial coatings, which kill bacteria and germs on contact, and electrostatic sanitization, which can quickly and thoroughly sanitize large environments such as cafeterias, classrooms and school buses at a fraction of the cost of manually sanitizing these areas with traditional means and methods. Silver-embedded SafeHandles passive antimicrobial coatings are installed on surfaces such as flush handles and push plates, and are effective at killing bacteria and germs between one user and the next. When hand washing and personal hygiene fail, these coatings can protect a school from an outbreak caused by a single person. Electrostatic sanitization is extremely effective at clearing a room, school bus, gym, or other open environment of germs and bacteria, reaching surfaces that most janitorial-based applications cannot.
SafeHandles continues to be at the forefront of advancing technology in the fight against superbugs and antibiotic resistance. The slow-release silver-ion embedded SafeHandles coupled with electrostatic technology will create a healthier environment for kids to learn and stay in school.