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Antibiotics - Recent Innovations UPSC NOTE

 


What are antibiotics?

  • Antibiotics are medicines that fight bacterial infections in people and animals. 

  • They work by killing the bacteria or by making it hard for the bacteria to grow and multiply.

  • Antibiotics can be taken in different ways:

    • Orally (by mouth) – This could be pills, capsules, or liquids.

    • Topically – This might be a cream, spray, or ointment that you put on your skin. It could also be eye ointment, eye drops, or ear drops.

    • Through an injection or intravenously (IV) – This is usually for more serious infections.


Recent Innovations

Cefepime/zidebactam:

  • Developed by Indian researchers, this antibiotic combines two active components to combat drug-resistant gram-negative pathogens, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

  • While still undergoing phase 3 trials internationally, this Indian innovation has shown remarkable potential.

  • Under a compassionate use protocol, the necessary approvals were obtained, and the patient received cefepime/zidebactam.

  • Signs of clinical improvement began to surface.




  • The patient’s fever subsided, blood cultures turned negative, and the need for oxygen diminished. 

  • Slowly but steadily, his strength returned, reigniting hope.

  • This extraordinary case underscores the urgent importance of granting Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for antibiotics currently in phase 3 trials or licensed from other countries.

Cefiderocol:

  • A licenced antibiotic in several countries.

  • Developed by a Japanese company, has demonstrated excellent efficacy against drug-resistant infections.

  • It remains unavailable within India.

Need of Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for essential antibiotics

  • The scarcity of potent antibiotics to combat drug-resistant infections poses a direct threat to countless lives.

  • Available antibiotics have lost their effectiveness due to rising resistance.

  • Each year, millions of lives are lost due to the inadequacy of available antibiotics in the face of these formidable pathogens.

  • The challenges faced by doctors in combating drug-resistant infections are multifaceted.

  • They must navigate through a shrinking arsenal of effective antibiotics, leaving them with limited choices and often resorting to suboptimal treatments that may have significant side-effects or offer little hope of a cure.



Way forward

  • India, a nation that has demonstrated remarkable progress in granting EUA for COVID-19 vaccines.

  • India must extend the same level of urgency and commitment to antibiotics.

  • While it is true that several antibiotics are licensed within our country based on small clinical studies and of questionable benefit.

  • Antibiotics that have been thoroughly evaluated or proven to be effective are essential in the battle against superbugs.

  • Recognising the importance of cefepime/zidebactam and grant its EUA.


  • However, we must emphasise the importance of responsible and appropriate utilisation of these medications. 

  • A collective decision by a team of experienced doctors, including infectious diseases experts should be made mandatory before initiating their use. 

  • This will ensure that these powerful antibiotics are administered to patients who will benefit the most while minimising the risk of misuse or overuse.


  • By granting EUA for cefepime/zidebactam and cefiderocol, we can strengthen our arsenal against drug-resistant infections. 

  • Their inclusion in the EUA list would not only empower doctors but also instil a renewed sense of hope and confidence among patients and their families

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Antibiotics - Recent Innovations UPSC NOTE
Antibiotics - Recent Innovations UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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