DailyDirt: Antibiotic Resistance Is (Not) Futile…

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

With the news that a “superbug” resistant to an antibiotic of last resort was found in the US, there’s a bit of concern that medicine could regress significantly in the face of uncontrollable bacteria. We’ve had antibiotic drugs for about 70 years now, and we’ve grown accustomed to the effectiveness of these drugs. Hopefully, we can stay ahead of drug-resistant microbes with new pharmaceuticals or phage therapy.

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Comments on “DailyDirt: Antibiotic Resistance Is (Not) Futile…”

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12 Comments
Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Antibiotics Overuse

There are many sources of misuse of antibiotics:

  • Large amounts are fed to perfectly healthy farm animals, just to fatten them up. This needs to stop.
  • People often pressure doctors into pointlessly giving them antibiotics for viral infections, or even no infections at all.
  • Even when antibiotics are correctly prescribed, people sometimes stop taking them when they feel better, rather than finishing the prescribed course. This lets the bugs escape and develop immunity.

Let’s face it, given the potential consequences for public health, climate change is a minor issue compared to this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Antibiotics Overuse

You are silly, silly, silly. Anthropogenic Climate Change IS the cause of antibiotic overuse, and it’s the cause of acne and it’s the cause of your backyard looking like a desert and it’s the cause of increasing car accidents and the cause of an increasing sense of futility for the future (now that Obama is stockpiling more nukes to offset any global cooling or warming effects).

So Anthropogenic Climate Change is the MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR world problem. It is the cause of all of our problems.

Anonymous Blowhard says:

Re: Antibiotics Overuse

I got an infection and went to the hospital recently. They gave me an antibiotic that really shouldn’t be a first choice but it’s known to be effective for the infection I had. But you know what? I don’t want to spend three weeks while they experiment with all the other antibiotics first. I can’t spend the next three weeks in bed instead of at work. I don’t want to have a much worse infection three weeks from now that kills me because three weeks later nothing will help anymore. Antibiotics are preventative. Anyone who’s been hit by a serious bacterial infection because their immune system was weakened by a viral infection are going to want antibiotics so that doesn’t happen again. It isn’t always as straighforward as people make it out to be. There needs to be continual development of antibiotics just like the flu vaccine that has to be redeveloped every year. Ideally you don’t want to give them out like candy but in practice nobody can predict who the unlucky person that gets a secondary infection or doesn’t respond to the first line antibiotic will be and nobody wants to be that person.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Antibiotics Overuse

Sooooo, let me get this straight. You have an infection that required a hospital visit and might put you in bed for three weeks… and you WANT to go to work and spread it around. Thanks. I’m sure your coworkers appreciate that.

This is a big problem in schools as well. Can’t have the little snowflake miss a single day of school – no matter how many other snowflakes wind up catching it.

JonK (profile) says:

Bacteriophage

Antibiotics are good because they can be patented by pharma. Bacteriophages are bad because are naturally occurring and can’t be patented, even though their job in life is to kill bacteria. At one time parts of Europe & Asia used bacteriophages (note that this site doesn’t even consider this to be a word!) control bacteria, but they have been educated by pharma to only use commercial products.

Recently the FDA has recognized bacteriophages as relevant to fighting bacteria:
“Intralytix’s ListShield™, the first phage product approved by the FDA as a food additive, targets Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat and poultry (e.g., deli meats and frankfurters).7 The microbe, which also contaminates dairy products and raw produce, grows even in refrigerated foods and causes a serious infection called listeriosis with a fatality rate of about 20%” quote from http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/121-a48/

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