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Interactive data visualizations of antibiotic use and resistance in North America and Europe
What are the factors that make drug resistance a more difficult problem for poorer countries?
The burden of infectious diseases is high in developing countries. Many may not be able to afford expensive, second-line antibiotic treatments, and so the costs of resistance are felt more profoundly in low-resource settings.
Antibiotic resistance is a global concern, but the challenges facing developing countries may require different solutions.
Resistance to anti-infective drugs, particularly bacterial resistance to antibiotics, is a global phenomenon. Resistant infections increase morbidity and mortality and prolong the time of infectiousness, putting others at risk. In high income countries, where the burden of infectious diseases is modest, the decreasing effectiveness of first line antibiotics is overcome by more expensive second and third line antibiotics. The challenge is greater in developing countries, where the burden of infectious diseases is high and patients with a resistant infection may be unable to obtain or afford any antibiotic, let alone expensive second line treatments. Poor hygiene, unreliable water supplies, civil conflicts, and increasing numbers of immunocompromised people with HIV infection, facilitate both the evolution of resistant pathogens and their rapid spread.