Commentary - Journal of Bacteriology and Infectious Diseases (2023) Volume 7, Issue 4
Zoonotic diseases and the challenge of antibiotic resistance.
Regina Suchecka *
Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
- *Corresponding Author:
- Regina Suchecka
Department of Pathobiology
University of Guelph
Received: 19-June-2023, Manuscript No. AABID -23-110953; Editor assigned: 21-June-2023, PreQC No. AABID -23-110953 (PQ); Reviewed: 05-July-2023, QC No. AABID -23-110953; Revised: 07-July-2023, Manuscript No. AABID -23-110953 (R); Published:14-July-2023, DOI: 10.35841/aabid-7.4.155
Citation: Suchecka R. Zoonotic diseases and the challenge of antibiotic resistance. J Bacteriol Infec Dis. 2023;7(4):155.
In the intricate web of life on Earth, the connections between humans, animals, and the environment are undeniable. Nowhere is this interconnectedness more apparent than in the realm of zoonotic diseases, where pathogens jump from animals to humans, often with devastating consequences. To compound the challenge, the emergence of antibiotic resistance in these zoonotic infections adds a layer of complexity that demands urgent attention and a multi-pronged approach. As we navigate this double jeopardy, understanding the interplay between zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance becomes a critical imperative.
Zoonotic diseases, caused by infectious agents that cross species barriers, have left an indelible mark on human history. From the Black Death of the 14th century to the more recent Ebola and COVID-19 outbreaks, these diseases remind us of the shared vulnerabilities among species. These spillover events often occur due to the encroachment of human activities into natural habitats, facilitating direct or indirect contact with wildlife reservoirs .
The causes of zoonotic outbreaks are multifaceted. Changes in land use, urbanization, and deforestation can bring humans and animals into closer proximity, increasing the chances of pathogen transmission. Moreover, the global trade and consumption of wildlife contribute to the emergence of new zoonotic infections. The recent COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the catastrophic consequences that can arise from the unchecked spread of zoonotic diseases
Antibiotic resistance: A looming crisis
Simultaneously, the global health community is grappling with another significant challenge: antibiotic resistance. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics, in both human and veterinary medicine, have led to the evolution of drug-resistant pathogens. These "superbugs" are now rendering many antibiotics ineffective, leaving healthcare providers with dwindling treatment options for once-treatable infections .
The convergence of zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance paints a grim picture. Many zoonotic pathogens are susceptible to antibiotics, making these drugs a cornerstone of treatment. However, the emergence of antibiotic resistance in zoonotic infections threatens to undermine our ability to effectively manage and control these diseases. As zoonotic pathogens evolve resistance mechanisms, the challenges of diagnosis, treatment, and containment multiply .
The intersection: Zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance
The interplay between zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance is complex and multifaceted. Several factors contribute to this intersection Zoonotic pathogens, in their animal hosts, often reside in environments where antibiotics are used, such as agricultural settings. This facilitates the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes between different bacterial species, including those that can infect humans. The use of antibiotics in animals for growth promotion and disease prevention also contributes to the development of resistant strains that can be transmitted to humans. When zoonotic infections occur in humans, antibiotics are frequently used to treat them. However, the misuse or inadequate use of antibiotics can accelerate the emergence of resistance. Moreover, the transmission of resistant bacteria from animals to humans via zoonotic infections amplifies the antibiotic resistance crisis .
Diagnosing zoonotic infections and antibiotic resistance can be challenging. In resource-limited settings, accurate diagnosis may not be readily available, leading to the overuse of antibiotics as a precautionary measure. This contributes to the cycle of resistance development. Zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance are not confined by borders. These issues transcend geographical boundaries, emphasizing the need for international collaboration and coordinated efforts to address them effectively. Tackling the double jeopardy of zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance requires a multifaceted approach that spans human, animal, and environmental health .
One health approach
The one health approach recognizes the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and the environment. This collaborative approach emphasizes cooperation among medical, veterinary, and environmental professionals to prevent and control zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance. Surveillance systems are essential to track the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases and antibiotic-resistant infections. Timely detection allows for effective intervention and containment strategies. Responsible antibiotic use in both in human healthcare and animal agriculture, responsible antibiotic use is paramount. Antibiotics should be prescribed judiciously, and alternatives to their use should be explored whenever possible.
Investing in research to understand the mechanisms of zoonotic transmission and antibiotic resistance is crucial. This knowledge can guide the development of new treatments, vaccines, and diagnostic tools. Raising awareness among the public, healthcare providers, and policymakers about the risks of zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance is vital. Informed decision-making can contribute to better practices and policies. Governments and international bodies must enforce regulations to control the use of antibiotics in agriculture, ensuring that they are used only when necessary and under veterinary supervision. International collaboration is indispensable in addressing these challenges. Sharing information, expertise, and resources can lead to more effective strategies for prevention, control, and treatment.
The convergence of zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance presents a double jeopardy that demands immediate and concerted action. As human activities continue to reshape ecosystems and facilitate the spillover of pathogens from animals to humans, the emergence of antibiotic resistance threatens to undermine our ability to manage these infections effectively. By adopting a One Health approach, emphasizing responsible antibiotic use, and fostering international collaboration, we can navigate this complex intersection and strive to prevent future outbreaks and mitigate the impacts of zoonotic diseases and antibiotic resistance on global health. The challenges are immense, but the potential for positive change is equally great.
- Grech V. Unknown unknowns–COVID-19 and potential global mortality. Early Hum Dev. 2020;144:105026.
- Soumet C, Méheust D, Pissavin C, et al. Reduced susceptibilities to biocides and resistance to antibiotics in food?associated bacteria following exposure to quaternary ammonium compounds. J Appl Microbiol.2016;121(5):1275-1281
- Dutil L, Irwin R, Finley R, et al. Ceftiofur resistance in Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg from chicken meat and humans, Canada. Emerg Infect Dis.2010;16(1):48-54.
- Durand GA, Raoult D, Dubourg G. Antibiotic discovery: history, methods and perspectives. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2019;53(4):371-382.
- Everard M, Johnston P, Santillo D, Staddon C. The role of ecosystems in mitigation and management of Covid-19 and other zoonoses. Environ Sci Policy.2020;111:7-17.