Are you ready for a world without antibiotics?
Posted on August 15, 2010 Comments (8)
And this is the optimistic view – based on the assumption that drug companies can and will get moving on discovering new antibiotics to throw at the bacterial enemy. Since the 1990s, when pharma found itself twisting and turning down blind alleys, it has not shown a great deal of enthusiasm for difficult antibiotic research. And besides, because, unlike with heart medicines, people take the drugs for a week rather than life, and because resistance means the drugs become useless after a while, there is just not much money in it.
“The emergence of antibiotic resistance is the most eloquent example of Darwin’s principle of evolution that there ever was,” says Livermore. “It is a war of attrition. It is naive to think we can win.”
I have been writing about the huge risks we are talking with our future for years. The careless misuse of antibiotics is very costly (in human lives, in the future). Bacteria pose great risks to us. We need to take antibiotics to fight serious threats. The misuse of antibiotics by doctors, patients, agri-business… is the problem. And we are all living a much riskier future because far to little is being done to reduce the misuse of antibiotics.
More and more antibiotic treatments are losing effectiveness as bacteria evolve resistance. The evolution is accelerated by misuse. This costs lives today, but is likely to costs many thousands and hundreds of thousands and possible more in the next 50 years.
The NDM-1-producing bacteria were highly resistant to all antibiotics except tigecycline and colistin. In some cases, isolates were resistant to all antibiotics. The emergence of NDM-1 positive bacteria is potentially a serious global public health problem as there are few new anti-Gram-negative antibiotics in development and none that are effective against NDM-1.
Related: Antibiotics Breed Superbugs Faster Than Expected – Antibiotics Too Often Prescribed for Sinus Woes – Bacteria Race Ahead of Drugs – FDA May Make Decision That Will Speed Antibiotic Drug Resistance – Raised Without Antibiotics – Waste Treatment Plants Result in Super Bacteria – How Bleach Kills Bacteria – CDC Urges Increased Effort to Reduce Drug-Resistant Infections