Vietnam has reported an alarming increase of superbugs that are resistant to powerful antibiotics and some of them are able to survive all available drugs, doctors said.
Nguyen Vu Trung, deputy director of the Central Tropical Diseases Hospital, said at a conference in Hanoi on Thursday that the resistance rate to carbapenems, the strongest group of antibiotics, has risen to 50 percent, mostly from gram-negative bacteria which have an impenetrable cell wall.
Do Thuy Nga from an Oxford study said Vietnam now ranks second out of 26 countries reporting data of carbapenem-resistant E.coli, after India.
Resistance to third-generation cephalosporins, another powerful group of drugs, has surged to more than 60 percent in the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed Vietnam among countries with the highest antibiotic-resistant infections.
Vietnam is also hit by several gram-negative gastrointestinal bacteria that resist all kinds of antibiotics in use. Doctors said the killer bugs are showing up faster than the introduction of new antibiotics. No new drugs have been launched since 2008.
They said with the new drugs not coming any time soon, the public should protect themselves by using antibiotics with caution and only under prescriptions.
Trung said the “improper” use of antibiotics is happening in both developing and developed countries, like the US.
Nga also suggested governments ban the use of antibiotics in animal feeds and limit the use of antibiotics for pets.
Vietnam’s animal farming industry is using around 11 groups of antibiotics, some of which are for human treatment.