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The spread of superbugs - What can be done about the rising risk of antibiotic resistance?
The Economist ^ | Mar 31st 2011 | Masthead Editorial

Posted on 04/05/2011 11:05:59 AM PDT by neverdem

ON DECEMBER 11th 1945, at the end of his Nobel lecture, Alexander Fleming sounded a warning. Fleming’s chance observation of the antibiotic effects of a mould called Penicillium on one of his bacterial cultures had inspired his co-laureates, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, two researchers based in Oxford, to extract the mould’s active principal and turn it into the miracle cure now known as penicillin. But Fleming could already see the future of antibiotic misuse. “There is the danger”, he said, “that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.”

Penicillin and the other antibiotics that its discovery prompted stand alongside vaccination as the greatest inventions of medical science. Yet Fleming’s warning has always haunted them. Antibiotic resistance has now become a costly and dangerous problem. Some people fear there may be worse to come: that a strain of resistant bacterium might start an epidemic for which no treatment was available. Yet despite Fleming’s warning and despite a fair understanding of the causes of resistance and how they could be dealt with, dealing with them has proved elusive. Convenience, laziness, perverse financial incentives and sheer bad luck have conspired to nullify almost every attempt to stop the emergence of resistance.

There are good reasons to hope that the extreme threat of a resistant epidemic will never come to pass—not least that 65 years of routine antibiotic use have failed to prompt one. Even so, the lesser problems of resistance continue to gnaw away at medicine, hurting people and diverting resources from more productive uses, often in the countries that can least afford it.

Convenience and laziness top the list of causes of antibiotic resistance. That is because those who misuse these drugs mostly do not pay the...

(Excerpt) Read more at economist.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: antibioticresistance; antibiotics; evolution; medicine; microbiology

1 posted on 04/05/2011 11:06:02 AM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

5000 IU’s or more of D3 a day and probiotics. I throw in an EmergenC every day too.


2 posted on 04/05/2011 11:07:37 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: Mother Abigail; EBH; vetvetdoug; Smokin' Joe; Global2010; Battle Axe; null and void; ...

micro ping


3 posted on 04/05/2011 11:09:09 AM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

Interesting situation with my son. He had NO antibiotics for over ten years. He had a very severe ear infection in college and the Amoxicillin he was prescribed did nothing for the infection.

He needed something stronger. So it’s just not a problem with individuals, it seems the microbes themselves have grown stronger.


4 posted on 04/05/2011 11:12:21 AM PDT by Carley (UNION AGITATORS, NO DIFFERENT THAN THE ARAB STREET. UGLY AND VIOLENT)
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To: neverdem

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-04/degradable-nanoparticles-search-intercept-and-destroy-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria


5 posted on 04/05/2011 11:14:24 AM PDT by Red Badger (I've posted a total of 1,714 threads and 64,019 replies as of 04-04-2011)
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To: neverdem
A recent one from Wired.

Drug-Resistant Bacteria: To Humans From Farms via Food

6 posted on 04/05/2011 11:15:37 AM PDT by Palter (If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. ~ Mark Twain)
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To: goodwithagun

I have to admit that I’m not as knowledgable on vitamins as I probably should be - but isn’t 5000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 a little on the high side?

Is there a point where your body doesn’t absorb vitamins when they reach that high of a level?


7 posted on 04/05/2011 11:15:37 AM PDT by MplsSteve
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To: MplsSteve
Sometimes I take 6-7K if the flu is sweeping through town. The problem with the gubmint recommendations is that they recommend what is normal for a perfectly healthy person who eats a perfectly balanced meal and gets the perfect amount of exercise a day. That is not me. Of course I do eat healthfully and I choose organic food, preferably from my back yard, and local meats without added ammonia, but our diets are still lacking in many vitamins. Many of us are vitamin D deficient and don't know it, so taking more than the gubmint recommendation is necessary. If you are frequently ill, that is a sign that you might have a deficiency. Ask your doc for a test.
8 posted on 04/05/2011 11:19:53 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: MplsSteve

I forgot to add sunlight. SPF 5000 is now en vogue. Unless we are outside for more than one hour, we do not use sunblock and my 2 1/2 year old has never had a sunburn. Our bodies need the vitamin D that the sun naturally provides us. Plus it’s free! So many children are sick more often, and it’s not just because of daycare depots. Part of the problem is that their mommies slather them with chemical sunblocks for a trip to the mailbox.


9 posted on 04/05/2011 11:23:35 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: MplsSteve

With vitamin d, you need to get tested to see what your blood level is. When you get to a therapeutic dose in your bloodstream, you will no longer get sick with viruses and you will be preventing cancer and a host of other things.

I got tested in a hot summer month when I was getting sun exposure, and was already taking 2000 units of d3. My level was 25, far too low. I upped my dose to 10,000 units and after a few months, went back and my level was still too low at 45. I now take 15,000 units a day. A therapeutic dose brings your blood level up to 60. Maybe you only need 500 units.every human is different.


10 posted on 04/05/2011 11:24:53 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Yaelle

I see a huge difference in my energy levels and general outlook on life now that I’m on D3.


11 posted on 04/05/2011 11:33:44 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: neverdem

Resistance is futile.


12 posted on 04/05/2011 11:35:32 AM PDT by Hacklehead (Liberalism is the art of taking what works, breaking it, and then blaming conservatives.)
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To: neverdem
This is a very serious problem. I encourage everyone to learn about MRSA ( Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or "Mersa"). Google it. About 19,000 people die from it a year and that number is skyrocketing.

My mother got a cut on her finger, got a little bit infected, didnt think much about it, next thing she knows is sometime later, she had severe back pain. Turned out that it was a MRSA super bug that had got into her blood stream and attacked her spine, "dissolving" two vertebrae. She had emergency surcgery and barely survived the whole ordeal.

Signs of MRSA, usually a red spot or cluster of red spots, little pustules that resemble a bug bite or spider bite. If you see something like that, get it swabbed and checked for MRSA! People loose hands, arms, legs, muscle and die from not having it ID'd promptly. Make sure you wash your hands ALL the time. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, get a nasal swab test on them, they or you can easily get it in a nursing home (or hospital) environment.

You have been warned!

13 posted on 04/05/2011 11:35:58 AM PDT by blasater1960 (Deut 30, Psalm 111...the Torah and the Law, is attainable past, present and forever.)
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To: neverdem

Resistance to antibiotics will continue to evolve in bacteria. The “tragedy of the commons” section of the article sums it up best. The benefits of the overuse of antibiotics accrue to the user, the drawbacks are felt by others.


14 posted on 04/05/2011 11:39:08 AM PDT by FewsOrange
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To: neverdem

One of the things that always got me is how the FDA rails against colloidal silver.

Meanwhile, pool filters use silver, nano silver is put in socks to stop the smell, I have Curad bandaids that have silver in them, silver nitrate was used for years as a preventative of eye infection in newborns, and silver sulfadiazene is the treatment choice for burn victims.

But colloidal silver is snake oil...


15 posted on 04/05/2011 11:39:54 AM PDT by djf (Dems and liberals: Let's redefine "marriage". We already redefined "natural born citizen".)
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To: Hacklehead

“Resistance is futile”

Thanks for the laugh!


16 posted on 04/05/2011 11:59:05 AM PDT by Cyman
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To: djf

I use it every day. I also just added 4 drops of iodine a day and I’ve seen a big difference already.


17 posted on 04/05/2011 11:59:50 AM PDT by My hearts in London - Everett (You will try to nudge commies toward the truth, while they try to nudge you toward the cattle cars.)
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To: blasater1960
In early Feb I went through an airport metal detector, shoeless (with socks). My foot had a small cut on its bottom.

Within a week, I was in hospital being treated for MRSA staph aereous in my blood.

It attacked my urinary tract, prostate, kidneys and liver. Was stopped as it was just starting to hit my heart.

Nearly two months later, after being released for three-days and returning via ER, I was released from hospital and am still at home on medical leave. . .with twice-daily at-home IV treatments.

Docs say when I went through the metal detector I picked up the MRSA bacteria and the heat and moisture in my shoe was a perfect environment for the bacteria to thrive as it entered through my small cut.

I had previously picked up a foot fungus at the metal detector, and this fungus cracked my skin and this opened the door for MRSA.

WARNING: Airport metal detector portals are infectious disease factories, as they are never sanitized or cleaned, and gawd knows what “lives” there, being picked up and infecting others? Why doesn't the CDC or some doctor do a medical study of those metal detector portals?

DOUBLE WARNING: What's to stop terrorists from putting MRSA bacteria in their shoes, or anthrax, going shoeless through the metal detector and thereby infecting thousands.

18 posted on 04/05/2011 12:05:29 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: neverdem

Good friend of mine had a serious case of BOOP just before Christmas. BOOP is a rare form of pneumonia. Difficult to diagnose. Difficult to treat. He darned near died. 37 days in hospital. Antibiotics had little effect. Prednisone finally helped bring him around.
Even Mayo Clinic got involved since the doctor that wrote the book (literally) on BOOP works there.
He gained 45 pounds, as did Jerry Lewis and other patients when on Prednisone.
Nasty stuff out there....


19 posted on 04/05/2011 12:11:20 PM PDT by donozark ("Never wound a King." Machiavelli)
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To: neverdem
Question: " What can be done about the rising risk of antibiotic resistance? "

Answer: Nothing. However, there is always hope.

20 posted on 04/05/2011 12:11:57 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Hulka

Have you/your doctors contacted airport officials? CDC? Security,etc?
Hell, I’d write your Congressman over something like that and perhaps contact an attorney.
Good luck to ya!


21 posted on 04/05/2011 12:13:13 PM PDT by donozark ("Never wound a King." Machiavelli)
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To: Hulka
Within a week, I was in hospital being treated for MRSA staph aereous in my blood.

Incredible! You were one of the few to survive that severe of an attack. So was my mother. I have been trying to find out what strain she had but havent been able to get it yet. Some MRSA strains have a 50% kill rate in the first 30 days.

People really need to get up to speed on this. There was a 14 year old boy in my daughters school who lost his foot from MRSA from a minor footbal injury. Another person I know of lost half their butt from MRSA getting into the muscle. A lot of the transmission aparently comes from the pig meat market. A lot of pig farmers have come down with MRSA. So if your extended families are pig meat eaters....make sure they handle the meat carefully and clean up well.

22 posted on 04/05/2011 12:28:54 PM PDT by blasater1960 (Deut 30, Psalm 111...the Torah and the Law, is attainable past, present and forever.)
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To: goodwithagun

That’s great. Oh, if any of the “before” outlook on life was depression, do not forget to up your omega 3 fats and lower your omega 6. Eat wild fish twice a week and your mood will really improve. (or take a high quality fish oil,supplement not from china, not from a drug stores cheap brands).


23 posted on 04/05/2011 12:30:27 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: Hulka

Wow,that is scary. Glad you survived this. The shoe checking is so damn ridiculous.

My gosh, you should wear padded socks before you travel again!


24 posted on 04/05/2011 12:33:50 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: blasater1960

You are absolutely correct.

MRSA sent me to the ER.


25 posted on 04/05/2011 12:47:32 PM PDT by Rammer
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To: Hulka
Silver Socks

Thanks for the story. Never thought about it. Going to make my own using home brew. Can't hoit.

Feel better.

26 posted on 04/05/2011 12:48:49 PM PDT by Stentor ( "All cults of personality begin as high drama and end as low comedy.")
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To: djf

“But colloidal silver is snake oil...”

External use only. Why not just use alcohol?


27 posted on 04/05/2011 12:53:05 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: neverdem

My mother has suffered a severe bout with C-diff. antibiotics would knock it down temporarily, but it kept coming back. Finally I convinced her to try Vitamin D3 along with Florastor probiotic. 6,000 units a day of D3. It’s working and I wonder why the her doctors never recommended either for the problem.


28 posted on 04/05/2011 12:53:10 PM PDT by wolfman
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To: neverdem

In this day and age, I can’t believe anyone is ignorant enough to go running to a doctor for an antibiotic for a ‘cold’. And all the doctors that go along with it just to shut them up and look like a hero should be ashamed of themselves. They should not even be considered health care professionals since what they are doing does not qualify as ‘health’ care, but leads to the decrease in everyone’s health and risk of acquiring resistant infection.


29 posted on 04/05/2011 12:56:56 PM PDT by usmom
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To: Palter; Hulka
Pigs too:

Pig MRSA

30 posted on 04/05/2011 1:24:39 PM PDT by blasater1960 (Deut 30, Psalm 111...the Torah and the Law, is attainable past, present and forever.)
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To: Hulka

Are you on Vancomycin? Some of the newer strains of MRSA are even resistant to that!


31 posted on 04/05/2011 1:30:40 PM PDT by blasater1960 (Deut 30, Psalm 111...the Torah and the Law, is attainable past, present and forever.)
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To: neverdem
Nearly 450,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis are recorded each year; one-third of these people die from the disease. More than a quarter of new cases of TB identified recently in parts of Russia were of this troublesome kind.

I spent over five months in the isolation ward with multidrug-resistant TB while they kept trying new antibiotic regimens that would have an effect on the strain I had. It was not a pleasant experience. Needless to say, I have pretty strong opinions about the abuse of antibiotics.

32 posted on 04/05/2011 1:32:42 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY ("The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen." -Dennis Prager)
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To: wolfman

“I wonder why the her doctors never recommended either for the problem.”

Because it doesn’t put any $$$ in their pockets, maybe.


33 posted on 04/05/2011 1:50:24 PM PDT by MayflowerMadam
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To: neverdem

Superbugs are easily eradeicated with phages instead of antibiotics.

They are a non-issue.


34 posted on 04/05/2011 2:25:17 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: neverdem

Superbugs are easily eradicated with phages instead of antibiotics.

They are a non-issue.


35 posted on 04/05/2011 2:25:33 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Palter; Red Badger

Thanks for the link.


36 posted on 04/05/2011 9:20:24 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

We might have to go back to sulfa-drugs although there are some cases where side effects can be a problem, especially those with HIV.


37 posted on 04/05/2011 9:21:02 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: All
In 2003, I slipped on ice getting out of my car and cut my left hand open on the pinky side on a nail or staple on my garage. I went to the ER and get my cut stitched plus an artery that was cut open. A week later, it was infected and I was taken into hospital a day after the shuttle Columbia blew up. I had to have it operated on to clean it out and I was on a strong antibiotic via IV. I was told I was lucky, I came close to losing part, if not all, of my hand. I was left with some nerve damage and a big scar on my hand. I stayed in hospital for 5 days, the county infection control doctor had to clear me for release. I was infected with strep.

A year earlier my aunt had a staph infection in her foot from a cortisone shot, she almost lost her foot.
38 posted on 04/05/2011 9:33:41 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: djf

I carry it. . .


39 posted on 04/05/2011 11:06:28 PM PDT by cricket (Osama - NOT made in the USA. . . .and Obama, not made i)n the USA either.. .)
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To: blasater1960

Yes, twice daily for at-home IV. Have a picc in my arm for this.


40 posted on 04/06/2011 6:42:46 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: Southack

“non-issue” for who?

For me it was life-threatening.


41 posted on 04/06/2011 6:47:35 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: donozark

I sent email to CDC (like that will do anything).

Will be sending letter to my congressional rep and see what happens.


42 posted on 04/06/2011 6:57:26 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: Hulka

I wish you all the best. I know first hand how devastating MRSA can be. My mother now has a titanium cage replacing two vertabrae and titanium rods fusing the two vertabrae above and below the cage. She actually died on the operating table a couple of times (two 8 hour surgeries 24 hrs apart). She got off the Vanco IV a couple of months ago now. And is making a good recovery but she is a spunky 73. It has taken a lot out of her though. I am sure you feel the same way.


43 posted on 04/06/2011 9:46:33 AM PDT by blasater1960 (Deut 30, Psalm 111...the Torah and the Law, is attainable past, present and forever.)
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To: blasater1960

Thank you.


44 posted on 04/06/2011 11:01:51 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: blasater1960

Oh, and prayers to your mother.


45 posted on 04/06/2011 11:03:55 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: Hulka

Superbugs are a non-issue for doctors who are educated about phages.

Phages routinely and easily defeat superbugs that antibiotics can’t touch.

For doctors stuck in pre-1910 medicine (i.e. limited to antibiotics), superbugs are a big deal.

But...it’s just an educational issue, not a technical one.


46 posted on 04/06/2011 1:52:11 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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