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  1. #1
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    Default Are you ready for a world without antibiotics?

    Are you ready for a world without antibiotics?

    Antibiotics are a bedrock of modern medicine. But in the very near future, we're going to have to learn to live without them once again. And it's going to get nasty



    Just 65 years ago, David Livermore's paternal grandmother died following an operation to remove her appendix. It didn't go well, but it was not the surgery that killed her. She suc***bed to a series of infections that the pre-penicillin world had no drugs to treat. Welcome to the future.


    The era of antibiotics is coming to a close. In just a couple of generations, what once appeared to be miracle medicines have been beaten into ineffectiveness by the bacteria they were designed to knock out. Once, scientists hailed the end of infectious diseases. Now, the post-antibiotic apocalypse is within sight.


    Hyperbole? Unfortunately not. The highly serious journal Lancet Infectious Diseases yesterday posed the question itself over a paper revealing the rapid spread of multi-drug-resistant bacteria. "Is this the end of antibiotics?" it asked.


    Doctors and scientists have not been complacent, but the paper by Professor Tim Walsh and colleagues takes the anxiety to a new level. Last September, Walsh published details of a gene he had discovered, called NDM 1, which passes easily between types of bacteria called enterobacteriaceae such as E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae and makes them resistant to almost all of the powerful, last-line group of antibiotics called carbapenems. Yesterday's paper revealed that NDM 1 is widespread in India and has arrived here as a result of global travel and medical tourism for, among other things, transplants, pregnancy care and cosmetic surgery.


    "In many ways, this is it," Walsh tells me. "This is potentially the end. There are no antibiotics in the pipeline that have activity against NDM 1-producing enterobacteriaceae. We have a bleak window of maybe 10 years, where we are going to have to use the antibiotics we have very wisely, but also grapple with the reality that we have nothing to treat these infections with."


    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.
    Dr Livermore, whose grandmother died for lack of infection-killing drugs in 1945, is director of the antibiotic resistance monitoring and reference laboratory of the Health Protection Agency. Last year, the HPA put out an alert to medical professionals about NDM 1, urging them to report all suspect cases. Livermore is far from sanguine about the future.


    "A lot of modern medicine would become impossible if we lost our ability to treat infections," he says. He is talking about transplant surgery, for instance, where patients' immune systems have to be suppressed to stop them rejecting a new organ, leaving them prey to infections, and the use of immuno-suppressant cancer drugs.
    But it is not just an issue in advanced medicine. Antibiotics are vital to abdominal surgery. "You safeguard the patient from bacteria leaking into the body cavity," he says. "If you lose the ability to treat these infections, far more people would die of peritonitis." Appendix operations would carry the same risk as they did before Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928.


    It may not be over yet, he says, but "we are certainly scraping the bottom of the barrel to find antibiotics that are effective against some of the infections caused by bacteria."


    Running out is not the only issue, he says. When somebody has a severe infection say blood poisoning causing a high fever, a hospital clinician will dispatch blood samples to the lab to find out exactly what he is dealing with. But that takes time. "He will start you on antibiotics because that will kill infection within 48 hours," says Livermore. "So during 48 hours, you are being treated blind. The more resistant your bacteria are, the less likely the antibiotic is going to work."


    Studies have shown, he says, that the chances of dying from hospital pneumonia or septicaemia (blood poisoning) are twice as high if the bacteria are drug-resistant, rising in the case of pneumonia from 20-30% to 40-60%.


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  2. #2
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    No offense but shouldn't this article be posted in a health forum??????????

  3. #3

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    this article is written by someone who understands very little about microbiology (bacteriology) and antibiotics. carbapenems are only one type of antibiotic but the way this writer phrases the article you'd think they are the only antibiotics on earth "last line group of antibiotics."

    also NDM-1 is an enyzme, enyzmes are proteins, not a gene. genes encode for proteins however the NDM-1 is an enzyme not a gene.

    considering that it was discovered less than a year ago, it's not surprising that it is resistant to a large group of antibiotics, it is however not resistant to every antibiotic on the market. some pharmaceutical company will eventually develop an antibiotic to especially treat this infection. that's how it works. staph used to be, and still is very difficult to treat however newer drugs are constantly being developed and yes although staph isn't susceptible to a wide variety of antibiotics, there's a cure for it. granted there's only one or two, it exists.

    bacterial resistance is evolution.. survival of the fittest. you expose bacteria to antibiotics, the weak die off, the strong go on to infect more hosts and reproduce a stronger population, that is how resistance builds. pharmaceutical companies then have to find a different method of attack (biochemsitry).

    we will never run out~ of antibiotics. new ones are constantly being developed and people are making bank everytime they develop an antibiotic that is successful in treating even one strain of bacteria. as long as there's money to be made and technology available antibiotics aren't going anywhere.

  4. #4

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    Many people do not realize how many things they can do before resorting to using an antibiotic to clear an infection. If your patient is coming down with a respiratory infection such as a cold or the flu.

  5. #5

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    This is something i am seeing first hand with my son being in the hospital.. He gets a fever and throws up and they culture him but just in case, they start him on antibiotics, which he is on for 24 hours and then his cultures come back negative for infection. the problem is the more they give him this antibiotic, the less likely his body will react to it. At times he is running 3 Different antibiotics through IV at the same time. For what? Just in case? Sooner or later your body becomes immune to the drugs that are given for these things. A girl down the hall on 4 different antibiotics, ended up with double ear infections.... shouldnt they have been covered? Well the drs say ohh because of all the antibiotics, this is a "super bug" it doesnt respond to antibiotics. Now what? My son has cancer, and is on immunosuppressant drug therapy, He also has end stage renal failure with a peritoneal dialysis catheter in his belly, hoping to get a transplant one day, with the threat of peritinitis hanging over his head everyday. They need to start making "super" antibiotics to deal with the "super" bugs they created, and then start being careful about giving them... "just in case"

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ťģėŗ ♥Ľįľŷź View Post
    This is something i am seeing first hand with my son being in the hospital.. He gets a fever and throws up and they culture him but just in case, they start him on antibiotics, which he is on for 24 hours and then his cultures come back negative for infection. the problem is the more they give him this antibiotic, the less likely his body will react to it. At times he is running 3 Different antibiotics through IV at the same time. For what? Just in case? Sooner or later your body becomes immune to the drugs that are given for these things. A girl down the hall on 4 different antibiotics, ended up with double ear infections.... shouldnt they have been covered? Well the drs say ohh because of all the antibiotics, this is a "super bug" it doesnt respond to antibiotics. Now what? My son has cancer, and is on immunosuppressant drug therapy, He also has end stage renal failure with a peritoneal dialysis catheter in his belly, hoping to get a transplant one day, with the threat of peritinitis hanging over his head everyday. They need to start making "super" antibiotics to deal with the "super" bugs they created, and then start being careful about giving them... "just in case"
    i know it sucks but since your son is undergoing chemotherapy his immune system is so weak, probably next to non existent depending on how long he's been in treatment the drs. have to constantly treat him with different antibiotics. even though he might still get an ear infection (like the girl down the hall) you have no idea how many other different kinds of infections he's able to fight off because of the antibiotics. those antibiotics are essentially life savers for him right now.

    knew a little girl who was diagnosed with leukemia, treated went into remission, she was home for 10 months when it came back. she passed away because of an infection during her second relapse because her immune system was so depressed from chemo.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vixen21 View Post
    i know it sucks but since your son is undergoing chemotherapy his immune system is so weak, probably next to non existent depending on how long he's been in treatment the drs. have to constantly treat him with different antibiotics. even though he might still get an ear infection (like the girl down the hall) you have no idea how many other different kinds of infections he's able to fight off because of the antibiotics. those antibiotics are essentially life savers for him right now.

    knew a little girl who was diagnosed with leukemia, treated went into remission, she was home for 10 months when it came back. she passed away because of an infection during her second relapse because her immune system was so depressed from chemo.

    Thats partially my point. His system is so weak, when he goes neutropenic, it is only the antibiotics that are fighting off infection since his counts sometimes come back as 0. So how long are the antibiotics going to continue to do what they are meant to do before his body develops infections that surpass the antibiotics that are being given to him? especially when they are sometimes given for no reason. when they decide even though the cultures came back negative, we are going to leave him on the antibiotics for another 24 hours. Will those drugs now be useless to him when he gets an infection?
    I dont believe antibiotics will be non existent, but i do think that sometimes they over use them. The question is, Can you overuse them?

  8. #8

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    Hello,
    I personally have some sympathy with this view, but I'm afraid not with much else you say. Big business runs the world, whether we like it or not, I suspect.
    How many poor ex prime ministers do you know? Most of them were very wealthy when they came to power but all of them were a lot richer when they left - given that they coiuld not possibly have accrued their wealth from their salary alone whilst in office, where did their wealth come from? Delaying the banning of cigarette advertising on the side of Formula One racing cars for a year probably brought a boost to someone's bank balance I suspect.

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  9. #9

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    I don't believe in a world without antibiotics

  10. #10

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    I wish my chemistry knowledge was more profound so that I would be able to understand your arguments, but still I can hardly imagine a modern world without antibiotics, pharmacies and even online pharmacies . It's a fact that one shouldn't hurry up with antibiotics if it is impossible and try to recover with lighter methods. Virus has an ability to adapt to everything, including AB; moreover, our orgnism should be able to develop his own immunity properly.

 

 

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