Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists and governments have been advising people about the best hygiene practices to protect themselves. This advice has caused a significant surge in the sale and use of cleaning products and hand sanitisers. Unfortunately, these instructions rarely come with advice about using them responsibly or of the consequences of misuse. But as with the misuse of antibiotics, the excessive use of cleaning products and hand sanitisers can lead to antimicrobial resistance in bacteria. There’s concern that the sudden overuse in cleaning products and hand sanitisers during the pandemic could lead to an increase in the number of antimicrobial-resistant bacterial species we encounter. This would put a greater strain on our already struggling healthcare systems, potentially leading to more deaths. What’s more, the problem could continue long after the current pandemic is over.

 

 

Credit: David Trinks

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