Healthcare for Internationals

Antibiotic resistant bacteria

Another consideration is the emergence of far too many resistant bacteria, such as the MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) and C. Diff (Clostridium Difficile), which cause both, serious and potentially lethal infections because they have become resistant to the antibiotics currently available.

Resistance in bacteria is caused amongst others by using antibiotics when this is not medically required. For instance: most coughs, colds, and sore throats are caused by viruses, not bacteria, and antibiotics do not work against viruses.
But prescription of antibiotics in these cases results in background bacteria being exposed to the antibiotics that can cause them to mutate and develop resistance. Staphylococcus Aureus for example, lives harmlessly in the nose, or on the skin of one out of every three of us, but if it should become a resistant strain and be passed to a vulnerable person, the consequences could be very serious.

The prudent approach by Dutch Healthcare professionals in prescribing antibiotics results in a very low incidence of antibiotic resistant infections.