resistance (AMR) is occurring everywhere in the world, compromising the
treatment of infectious diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, parasites, virusesf1 ,
etc. and thus, impeding many other advances in health and medicine. New
resistance mechanisms are emerging globally, threatening our ability to treat
common infectious diseases, giving rise to prolonged illness, disability,
increasing treatment cost and even death in extreme cases.
resistance occurs naturally, but misuse in humans and animals, is accelerating
the process. A global
surveillance report by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated an increase
of morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases due to AMR, which could lead
to a world-wide economic loss of up to 100 trillion US dollars (USD) in 2050 as
the result of a 2%–3% reduction in the gross domestic product (GDP). (Jim O’
Neill, December 2014).
In India, convergence of factors such as poor public
health infrastructure, rising f2 incomes, high disease burden, high
consumption of a broad spectrum of antibiotics due to cheap and unregulated
sale of antibiotics, antibiotics-fixed dose combinations, antibiotic
consumption in animal foods are contributors to AMR. Besides, India and China, are largest
antibiotics producers (Contributing up to 80% antibiotic production globally).
And hence the antibiotic residues discharged in the pharmaceutical effluent is a major factor, as currently, there are no
guidelines laid within the ‘Pharmaceutical Wastewater Discharge Guidelines’
published by The Central Pollution Control Board, for assessment of antibiotic
residues in such pharmaceutical industry effluents. f3
AMR incidence rates have elevated recently, so much so
that, WHO published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant “Priority
Pathogens” in February, 2017. The list was published to foster development of
new antibiotics, to tackle growing global resistance to antimicrobial
Analysis of the drug susceptibility indicates increasing resistance to routinely
used antimicrobials, against pathogens like Enterococcus faecium,
Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Actinobacter baumannii,
Psuedomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter spp., also referred to as
“ESKAPE Pathogens”. Salmonella typhi, Shigella spp, Vibrio
cholerae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis, , Mycobacterium
tuberculae, HIV and Plasmodium vivax also showed resistance.
Doctors and health professionals are fast running out of treatment options,
especially for hospital-acquired nosocomial infections due to rapid dynamics of
antibiotic resistance development. Hence, strategies like antibiotic structure
modification, prescribing multiple antibiotics will hardly satisfy the need to
cope up with mutation rate of pathogens. If left to market forces alone, the
urgently needed antibiotics are not going to be developed in time.
Hence, the concept of “Bioprospecting” has been put forth. Bioprospecting
is the effort to discover natural compounds with therapeutic and biological
applications. (Anak Agung Gede Indraningrat et.al.). In line with this
definition, sponge-associated microbes offer a huge potential as the source of
antimicrobials as shown by many microbial isolates being reported to inhibit
pathogenic reference strains in vitro and to synthesize active
substances against one or several groups of infectious agents.
ORIGIN OF RESEARCH PROBLEM :
The evolutionary hypothesis of “Red Queen’s Race” suggests that organisms must constantly adapt, evolve, and proliferate not
merely to gain reproductive advantage.
Development of antimicrobial resistance, is one such strategy of pathogens to
survive against antibiotics in use. Antimicrobial resistance as mentioned is a
health problem, worldwide, and threatens all medical advances made so far. A conservative estimation is that AMR now annually
attributes to 700,000 deaths globally, with a potential leap to 10 million in
2050. (WHO,2014). Highly dynamic mutations occurring within the genes of
pathogens have to be attributed to high AMR incidence rates.
In order, to curb with the damaging effects of AMR,
undertaking research for new antimicrobials is much needed. As the antibiotics
isolated from terrestrial environment are becoming inefficient, marine microbes
are thought to be of great potential due to their vast chemical and biological diversity, they constitute the ‘unexploited
frontier’ for search of marine natural products, therefore, random search may offer unexpected new metabolites that might
eventually be endowed with interesting pharmacological properties.
Bioprospecpting marine sponge-associated fungi for production
of antibiotics against these resistant pathogens can help in serving the
purpose. As the compounds isolated from sponge associated microbes so far have
been reported to exhibit broad-range antimicrobial activity against pathogenic
as well as multi-drug resistant strains. As there is a wide scope to discover
novel antimicrobial producers from diverse population harbored by marine
sponges, these fungi may play an important role of natural factories for potent