Sunday, October 27, 2013

Are We In the Post-Antibiotic Era?

From the Daily Mail:

A high-ranking official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared in an interview with PBS that the age of antibiotics has come to an end. 
'For a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about "The end of antibiotics, question mark?"' said Dr Arjun Srinivasan. 'Well, now I would say you can change the title to "The end of antibiotics, period.”' 
[He also] said that both humans and livestock have been overmedicated to such a degree that bacteria are now resistant to antibiotics.  
‘We're in the post-antibiotic era,' he said. 'There are patients for whom we have no therapy, and we are literally in a position of having a patient in a bed who has an infection, something that five years ago even we could have treated, but now we can’t.’. 
Dr Srinivasan offered an example of this notion, citing the recent case of three Tampa Bay Buccaneers players who made headlines after reportedly contracting potentially deadly MRSA infections, which until recently were largely restricted to hospitals.  
About 10 years ago, however, the CDC official began seeing outbreaks of different kinds of MRSA infections in schools and gyms.  
‘In hospitals, when you see MRSA infections, you oftentimes see that in patients who have a catheter in their blood, and that creates an opportunity for MRSA to get into their bloodstream,’ he said.  
‘In the community, it was causing a very different type of infection. It was causing a lot of very, very serious and painful infections of the skin, which was completely different from what we would see in health care.’ 
With bacteria constantly evolving and developing resistance to conventional antibiotics, doctors have been forced to ‘reach back into the archives’ and ‘dust off’ older, more dangerous cures like colistin.

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