Biological Scientists Lead New Frontiers Alternatives to Antibiotics – Facilitator
According to the facilitator at a recently held Town and Gown Seminar of the Department of Biological Sciences, Covenant University, biologists have emerged as pacesetters in the drive to find credible alternatives to antibiotics.
Mr Taiwo Aremu described the development – phage cocktail – as the emerging future of microbiology. He said bacterial viruses (Bacteriophage) were used as antibacterial drugs and biocontrol agents against plants and foodborne pathogens.
The facilitator, who made a presentation titled ‘Antimicrobial Stewardship in Public Health Settings: Biologist Perspective’, said Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) was a coherent set of actions to promote responsible use of antimicrobials. He defined Antimicrobial Stewardship as a bundle of interventions to promote and ensure the optimal use of antimicrobial treatment “that results in the best clinical outcome for treating or preventing infection, with minimal toxicity to the patient and minimal impact on subsequent resistance”.
He stated that the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) strategic objectives were to improve awareness and understanding of AMR through effective communication, education and training. He added that it strengthened the knowledge and evidence base through surveillance and research and reduced infection incidence through effective sanitation, hygiene, and infection prevention measures.
In his highlights of what the World Health Organisation aimed to achieve with the AMS, Mr Aremu said the objectives included optimising the use of antibiotics and promoting behaviour change in antibiotic prescribing and dispensing practices. The goals, he stressed, also featured improved quality of care and patient outcomes, saving on unnecessary healthcare costs, improving quality of care and patient outcomes, and reduce further emergence, selection and spread of AMR.
He disclosed that the scientific research supporting probiotics in new health areas and established health areas were growing daily. He said that probiotics were microorganisms that conferred health benefits on the host and had a wide range of health benefits and modes of action in the body. He added that probiotics supplementation was safe and recommended for infants, children and during pregnancy.
Speaking further on probiotics, Mr Aremu explained that it restored the positive balance of friendly bacteria in the system and effectively inhibited and neutralised pathogens, to which travellers were exposed to new environments, food, and water. It was beneficial in preventing and treating the symptoms of gastroenteritis (stomach bugs), he added.
To round off his presentation, the facilitator enjoined the students to eschew selfishness and ego, imbibe the spirit of teamwork, be happy, develop their visions, strive to attain success, treasure their clients, acquire knowledge, and build their confidence.
Earlier in his welcome remark, the Head of Department, Biological Sciences, Professor Solomon Oranusi, enlightened the audience on the importance of the forum and the significance of the lecture. While appreciating the facilitator for accepting Covenant’s invitation, he encouraged the students to pay attention and ensure the address add more to their knowledge.
Also at the Department of Biological Sciences Town and Gown Seminar were faculty and staff of the Department.