Antibiotics and Bacterial Resistence

Drug resistant organisms are on the rise. In other words it’s at the critical point and this escalating problem must now be dealt with What can the general public do to help combat this problem? First of all they must listen to the good advice of the health professionals and follow the directions carefully when taking antibiotics. This is extremely important since only partially taking the antibiotics will only partially kill the organisms, leaving the rest to learn how to resist the drug.

Antibiotic resistance has happened, so say a European research group because of the overall success of antibiotics. They have been overused. And this takes away much of the blame from the patients. Also that remains a part of the problem. But antibiotics have entered into other fields other than the medical fields and this has  afforded the bacteria means by which they can adapt and regroup and become even more potent at resisting efforts to control them.

At least that is their answer as to how antibiotic resistance started. What is to be done about it? Again they advised four strategies for dealing with the problem: surveillance, prevention, research, and international co-operation. Those came out in 1901, and how have they been carried out?  

To answer that, Google was asked what the latest news headlines had to say about the problem: Chemical and Engineering News on July 10, 2010 had this to report: “FDA has made  it clear to the animal agriculture industry that feeding animals antibiotics for growth promotion poses a serious public health threat.”

C&EN went on to say that the government did not actually curtailed non medical use of antibiotics, but they should have. These industries have been warned before, but they have not slowed down or avoided use of antibiotics except for actual use to control disease in animals. The companies were advised to stop using antibiotics unless, as stated before, necessary for animal health and these should be used under the guidance of the Vets.

The Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2010 passed on news from Sten Stovall of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES from London. To quote directly: “Governments will need to “pay up” and support drug discovery if big drug companies are to develop a new generation of antibiotics to fight deadly new infections, health experts say. They were passing on a British journal Lancet take on the superbug. Supposedly it is having a picnic in India. The fear is that it could spread locally.

Basically, a gene, NDM-1 has been located that “alters bacteria” and potentially allowing them to spread and change their habits.  That was only two days ago, and further news and ways to deal with that enlightening news will be forthcoming. The Wall Street Headline “New Superbug Underscores Need To Spur Antibiotic Research”  is an underlined call out to medical researchers for help.