The challenges that NRCS addresses are antibiotic abuse, antibiotic resistance, and overuse of synthetic disinfectants and synthetic pesticides by households and industry.
The abuse of antibiotics is a public health concern. Over the years there has been overuse and misuse of antibiotics in disease treatments of animals and humans. These behaviors have accelerated the generation of superbugs (antibiotic resistant bacteria).
ANTIBIOTICS RESISTANCE (SUPERBUGS)
Various bacteria, resistant to antibiotics, have emerged and are called superbugs. These superbugs are difficult to kill and are harmful to both humans and animals. The development of novel antibiotics to mitigate these superbugs has not kept pace and the industry is using its ‘last line of defense’ to battle these superbugs.
“A new report released Wednesday from the OECD estimates that antimicrobial resistant infection is on track to kill 30,000 Americans per year by 2050
. The financial cost to the 33 developed countries included in the study could be as high as $3.5 billion a year
Source: Superbugs pose a dangerous, $65 billion threat to the US healthcare system, CNBC article.
Biofilm is a layer of bacteria that can adhere to any surface. A typical example is the bacteria that gets left behind after non-thorough cleaning and creates its own protective layer. This protective layer is made up of complex extracellular polymeric substances, a matrix which is generally composed of eDNA, proteins, and polysaccharides, and shows high resistance to antibiotics. Biofilm is one of the major causes of infection persistence.
USE OF SYNTHETIC DISINFECTANTS
Synthetic disinfectants are widely used to inactivate or destroy microorganisms. Recent evidence from peer-reviewed studies and articles have raised concerns about synthetic disinfectants (QUATs – quaternary ammonium compounds) and their potential long-term side effects on reproductive and developmental systems (as evidenced in animal research).
REPLACING SYNTHETIC ANTIMICROBIAL PESTICIDE USAGE
Synthetic antimicrobial pesticides are known to cause a large number of negative health and environmental effects, Their side effects can be an important environmental health risk factor. The urgent need for a more sustainable and ecological approach has produced many innovative ideas, among them agriculture reforms and food production implementing sustainable practices evolving to food sovereignty.