'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

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'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by sassy on Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:05 pm

Antibiotic Research UK director says chances of salvaging most important drugs are 50-50 after resistant bacteria found in pigs and humans in England and Wales

It is “almost too late” to stop a global superbug crisis caused by the misuse of antibiotics, a leading expert has warned.
Scientists have a “50-50” chance of salvaging existing antibiotics from bacteria which has become resistant to its effects, according to Dr David Brown.

The director at Antibiotic Research UK, whose discoveries helped make more than £20bn ($30bn) in pharmaceutical sales, said efforts to find new antibiotics are “totally failing” despite significant investment and research.
It comes after a gene was discovered which makes infectious bacteria resistant to the last line of antibiotic defence, colistin (polymyxins).

The resistance to the colistin antibiotic is considered to be a “major step” towards completely untreatable infections and has been found in pigs and humans in England and Wales.

Public Health England said the risk posed to humans by the mcr-1 gene was “low” but was being monitored closely.
Performing surgery, treating infections and even travelling abroad safely all rely to some extent on access to effective antibiotics.

It is feared the crisis could further penetrate Europe as displaced migrants enter from a war-torn Middle East, where countries such as Syria have increasing levels of antibiotic resistance.

Dr Brown told said: “It is almost too late. We needed to start research 10 years ago and we still have no global monitoring system in place.

“The issue is people have tried to find new antibiotics but it is totally failing - there has been no new chemical class of drug to treat gram-negative infections for more than 40 years.

“I think we have got a 50-50 chance of salvaging the most important antibiotics but we need to stop agriculture from ruining it again.”

Resistance is thought to have grown due to colistin being heavily used in pockets of the agricultural industries, particularly in China, often to increase the physical size of livestock.

Worldwide, the demand for colistin in agriculture was expected to reach almost 12,000 tonnes per year by the end of this year, rising to 16,500 tonnes by 2021.

In the UK, nearly half of all antibiotics used are in farming, according to reports, although the use of it as a growth agent has been banned in the EU since 2006.

The unnecessary prescription and use of antibiotics as a form of treatment is also believed to be an aggravating factor.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/22/almost-too-late-fears-of-global-superbug-crisis-in-wake-of-antibiotic-misuse

Not a nice thought when you have a crap immune system.  I try to take as few antibiotics as I possibly can, last lot was in May in Malta, means I have to steer well clear of people who have a bug.

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by eddie on Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:25 pm

Is this a case of people overusing them / doctors over-prescribing?
I know some mums wh give their kids antibiotics (after seeing their GP) when their child had blatently, just got a cold!

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by Raggamuffin on Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:31 pm

eddie wrote:Is this a case of people overusing them / doctors over-prescribing?
I know some mums wh give their kids antibiotics (after seeing their GP) when their child had blatently, just got a cold!

It is partly down to that. Doctors should not be doing that, and parents and anyone else should really know by now that a cold is caused by a virus, which will not be affected by antibiotics anyway. The only time antibiotics should be prescribed after a cold is if a secondary bacterial infection occurs, and even then, they should give it time for the immune system to clear it.

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by eddie on Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:41 pm

Yes rags I know and I agree with all that, I've been given antibiotics for my kids before for a cough! I took th prescription in case it was needed in a hurry but never gave it to them. I remember thinking at the time that he was a bit willy-nilly at writing it out.


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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by Raggamuffin on Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:50 pm

I think that people not taking the whole course of antibiotics can also lead to resistance. They stop as soon as they feel better.

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by eddie on Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:59 pm

Raggamuffin wrote:I think that people not taking the whole course of antibiotics can also lead to resistance. They stop as soon as they feel better.

Yes they do. I admit I did that a couple of times in my early twenties - you know that age when you think you're immortal lol

But definitely overuse has happened. A lot of people can't seem to understand anti-biotics only kill bacteria and not viruses.

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by Ben Reilly on Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:11 pm

I've never understood how people can know this is happening, yet deny that evolution is real. How else do they think bacteria become resistant to antibiotics -- Satanic black magic? Smile

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by Lord Foul on Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:30 pm

Technically the above isnt "evolution" its adaption....

but thats me being "picky"

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by Ben Reilly on Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:02 pm

Lord Foul wrote:Technically the above isnt "evolution" its adaption....

but thats me being "picky"

If (when) we end up with a superbug that no existing antibiotic can kill, though, I think we could probably call it a new species -- or close enough. Like a person who couldn't be killed by arsenic, cyanide or any other poison.

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by Lord Foul on Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:10 pm

Ben_Reilly wrote:
Lord Foul wrote:Technically the above isnt "evolution" its adaption....

but thats me being "picky"

If (when) we end up with a superbug that no existing antibiotic can kill, though, I think we could probably call it a new species -- or close enough. Like a person who couldn't be killed by arsenic, cyanide or any other poison.

Well....YOU probably could.....but you're a Journo so.......... Razz

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by Raggamuffin on Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:54 am

Ben_Reilly wrote:
Lord Foul wrote:Technically the above isnt "evolution" its adaption....

but thats me being "picky"

If (when) we end up with a superbug that no existing antibiotic can kill, though, I think we could probably call it a new species -- or close enough. Like a person who couldn't be killed by arsenic, cyanide or any other poison.

The immune system does deal with bacterial infections though, so perhaps the immune system will also adapt to be able to deal with these bacterial infections which have become resistant to antibiotics. I guess that if people immediately take antibiotics whenever they have a bacterial infection, the immune system doesn't have to do very much and it doesn't have to adapt.

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by Raggamuffin on Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:06 pm

Stormee wrote:Going back about 10 years my GP friend told me of this, so it musta been known in medical circles then..

Yes, it's been fairly common knowledge for a long time, but people still go to the doctor with a cold and expect to get antibiotics.

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by Ben Reilly on Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:52 pm

Raggamuffin wrote:
Ben_Reilly wrote:
Lord Foul wrote:Technically the above isnt "evolution" its adaption....

but thats me being "picky"

If (when) we end up with a superbug that no existing antibiotic can kill, though, I think we could probably call it a new species -- or close enough. Like a person who couldn't be killed by arsenic, cyanide or any other poison.

The immune system does deal with bacterial infections though, so perhaps the immune system will also adapt to be able to deal with these bacterial infections which have become resistant to antibiotics. I guess that if people immediately take antibiotics whenever they have a bacterial infection, the immune system doesn't have to do very much and it doesn't have to adapt.

I've little doubt that there are a few people at least in the world with the immune system to deal with a superbug already. The rest of us really need to stop scrubbing everything with antibacterial soap, if we'd like to keep our immune systems strong pale

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by stardesk on Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:20 pm

Hi folks. I don't wish to appear to be a prophet of doom but, some of you may remember when we were discussing the Ebola crisis I said that the day would come when there would be a pandemic, a virus or something else for which we had no medicinal protection. Let's hope I'm wrong, but if the experts are warning of the same, then cross your fingers and head for the hills.

Happy new years folks.

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Re: 'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse

Post by sassy on Fri Jan 01, 2016 9:22 pm

Well Stardesk, if it was a virus an anti-biotic wouldn't help anyway.

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