Sunday, May 18, 2014

Losing the War on Super-Bugs


“A post-antibiotic era—in which common infections and minor injuries can kill—far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st Century.” – World Health Organization
The super-bugs are gaining on us. And if we don’t stop our reckless use of antibiotics, they’re going to win.
The World Health Organization (WHO) for the first time issued a report on the global state ofantimicrobial resistance (AMR)— which is a fancy name for what happens when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites evolve in ways that make them able to survive the medications we used to use to kill them.
What are some of the infections that we may soon be unable to treat, according to the report? Pneumonia, bloodstream infections, urinary infections, gonorrhea, and infections in newborns and intensive-care unit patients.
Maybe it’s time to stop dousing millions of animals in factory farms with antibiotics. The report says that when it comes to animal agriculture, “major gaps” exist in the surveillance and data sharing related to the emergence of antibiotic-resistance in food-borne bacteria and its potential impact on both animal and human health. Could it be the factory farms have something to hide?
Read the study

Photo Credit: NIAID via Compfight cc

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