For human reasons, bacteria are winning

  • Article by: CARL F. NATHAN
  • Updated: December 10, 2012 - 8:16 PM

What makes the rapid loss of antibiotics to drug resistance particularly alarming is that we are failing to make new ones.

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davehougDec. 10, 1210:08 PM

Sincere question. What about old antibiotics that haven't been used for years because better ones came along. Would mutation resistance to currently used antibiotics also open up bacteria to lose defense against old antibiotics they haven't seen in decades??? Somebody who knows more, please respond.

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withinreasonDec. 10, 1210:39 PM

This is one of my bigger fears for the future, nice to know that they are at least starting to address it.

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twspt7Dec. 11, 12 5:54 AM

The "missing" market forces will kick in when the superbugs become more prevalent. Necessity is the mother of invention.

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kronosmnDec. 11, 12 7:03 AM

Nice article

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melloncollieDec. 11, 12 7:19 AM

We are not creating new ones because of the cost and FDA. Another problem is the legal cost as unregulated trial attorneys advertise continually to create many frivolous lawsuits.

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pitythefoolsDec. 11, 12 7:29 AM

I have no question this is solvable. Scientists can now, literally, create new life forms. Artificial DNA has been created and used to create life. All they need to do is find a life form that attacks the bacteria, but not the human. Ten, twenty years from now max we'll have our own biotics to fight specific biotics.

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SantaeroDec. 11, 12 7:29 AM

A big part of this article is missing: how have these superbugs developed? It's time that we take a hard look at the role of antibiotics in our food system, but many people are neglecting to address it.

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turgidDec. 11, 12 7:44 AM

Our government failed us when it OK'd the advertising of drugs to the general public. This badly warped the mission of drug companies because it created huge profit incentives for finding preventitive medecines as the article states. And it diverted money that used to go to R&D to marketing these cash cow placebos. Marketing of drugs to the general public is a prime example of what's wrong with our health care system today.

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ptwaterwalkeDec. 11, 12 8:38 AM

davehoug- good question older antibiotics are used but they are the ones that have had resistance built up to them like amoxicillin, which is penicillin. When infections are treated typically there is a culture and sensitivity done so they know what antibiotic it is sensitive to and use that one to treat, if it doesnt work they go to the next one up the chain. We have so over used antibiotics in this country to the detriment of ourselves, plus people will stop taking them when they feel better which allows the bacteria to come back in force and cause problems.

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fish60Dec. 11, 12 8:46 AM

We should be diverting some of the worlds largest pork barrel (military spending) and investing that money into real national defense in the form of antibiotics and better methods of producing vaccines. That would protect this country better than wasting that money on unwanted and unneeded military spending.

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