Understanding antibiotic resistance
Understanding antibiotic resistance

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Understanding antibiotic resistance

3 Poor hygiene and infection control

Healthcare settings are hot spots for infectious diseases, including those caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria (Figure 2).

Infections are spread through failures in hygiene, such as poor hand-washing technique, and because measures to prevent and control infections are inadequate or not followed consistently. Failure to wear protective clothing, to dispose of waste safely and to maintain a clean working environment all contribute to the spread of bacteria. You will learn more about the role of hygiene in preventing the spread of infections in Week 7.

A high number of cases of infectious diseases not only increases the demand for antibiotics and drives resistance but also increases mortality and has a negative impact on quality of life (Figure 3).

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Figure 2 The number of patients contracting infections within healthcare settings (O’Neill, 2016).
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Figure 3 How poor infection control contributes to resistance and loss of life (O’Neill, 2016).

In the next section, you will explore the link between the overuse of antibiotics and resistance.


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