The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday about the increased use of antibiotics in some countries, as well as low consumption in other regions, which could lead to the death of a superbug.
According to 2015 data collected in 65 countries and regions, the WHO report shows a significant difference in consumption from 4 daily doses (DDD) to 1,000 people per day in Burundi to 64 Mongolian populations.
"These differences suggest that some countries may be taking too many antibiotics, while others may not have enough access to these drugs," the WHO statement said.
Antibiotics discovered in the 1920s saved tens of millions of lives by effectively combating bacterial diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and meningitis.
However, over the years bacteria have been changed to resist such drugs.
The WHO has in many cases warned that the number of effective antibiotics in the world is deteriorating.
Last year, the UN agency called on states and large pharmaceutical groups to create a new generation of medicines that are able to deal with particularly durable "superbugs".
"Excessive consumption, as well as insufficient use of antibiotics, are the main causes of antimicrobial resistance," said Suzanne Hill, WHO Director of Medicines and Health Products.
"Without effective antibiotics and other antimicrobials, we will lose the ability to treat infections as widely as pneumonia," he warned.
Bacteria may become resistant if patients are taking antibiotics that are not needed or if they do not complete the treatment. Thus, bacteria are better able to survive and develop immunity.
WHO is also concerned about the low consumption of antibiotics.
"Endurance can develop when patients can not afford full treatment or only have access to non-standard or changed drugs," the report said.
In Europe, the average antibiotic consumption is approximately 18 daily doses per 1000 inhabitants per day. Turkey runs a list (38 specific daily doses), that is, about five times more than the last of the classification, Azerbaijan (8 fixed daily doses).
The WHO, however, acknowledges that its report is incomplete, as it only includes four African countries, three countries in the Middle East and six countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The great lack of this study is the United States, China and India.
Since 2016, the WHO has helped 57 low and middle income countries collect data to develop a benchmarking system for antibiotic control.