A 'slow catastrophe' unfolds as the golden age of antibiotics comes to an end
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Los Angeles Times
Posted: July 24th, 2016
On May 18, a team working at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research here had its first look at a sample of the bacterium Escherichia coli, taken from a 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania. Her sample was one of six from across the country delivered to the lab of microbiologist Patrick McGann. Within hours, a preliminary analysis deepened concern at the lab. Over the next several days, more sophisticated genetic sleuthing confirmed McGanns worst fears. There, in the bacteriums DNA, was a gene [that] made the pathogen impervious to the venerable antibiotic colistin. More ominously, the genes presence ... suggested that it could readily jump to other E. coli bacteria, or to entirely different forms of disease-causing organisms. That would make them impervious to colistin as well. It was a milestone public health officials have been anticipating for years. In a steady march, disease-causing microbes have evolved ways to evade the bulwark of medications used to treat bacterial infections. For a variety of those illnesses, only colistin continued to work every time. Now this last line of defense had been breached as well. Almost as soon as they were given to patients, scientists began finding evidence that disease-causing bacteria were developing resistance to these new wonder drugs. Humans have accelerated this natural process by indiscriminately prescribing antibiotics and by routinely feeding the drugs to livestock.
Note: Millions of unnecessary drug prescriptions and rampant overuse of antibiotics in livestock also produces autoimmune diseases that were virtually unknown to our ancestors. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.