backtop


Print 30 comment(s) - last by theArchMichael.. on Nov 21 at 12:03 PM


Klebsiella pneumoniae  (Source: ppdictionary.com)
One bacterium, called Klebsiella pneumoniae, has been particularly harmful with 15 to 50 percent of cases due to bloodstream infections resistant to carbapenem antibiotics

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has found that multi-drug resistant bacteria, or "superbugs," are spreading throughout Europe with resistance to even the strongest antibiotics.

One bacterium, called Klebsiella pneumoniae, has been particularly harmful. K. pneumoniae typically causes pneumonia, bloodstream and urinary tract infections.

K. pneumoniae has become resistant to antibiotics in Europe, leading to infection in many countries. In fact, K. pneumoniae is even resistant to the most powerful antibiotics called carbapenems.

According to the ECDC, 15 to 50 percent of K. pneumoniae due to bloodstream infections were resistant to carbapenems.

According to Marc Sprenger, ECDC's director, rates of resistance to "last-line" antibiotics such as carbapenems by K. pneumoniae had doubled to 15 percent in 2010 from 7 percent five years ago.

There are two main issues with fighting the superbug: the lack of commercial incentive to invest in last-line antibiotics, and the misuse of antibiotics.

There are very few new antibiotics in development. According to experts, only large drug firms like AstraZeneca are partaking in antibiotic research, and there's a lack of effort in creating new antibiotics that will only be used as a last line of defense.

Antibiotic misuse is a large problem with fighting bacteria. When antibiotics are overused, bacteria find other avenues of surpassing the antibiotics and invading the body. According to Sprenger, countries with the highest rates of multi-drug resistant infections also tend to be the ones with the highest antibiotic use. These countries include Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary.

But K. pneumonia isn't the only superbug to worry about. A different risk report focuses on a gene called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1), which can be found in K. pneumonia or E. coli. It makes bacteria resistant to nearly all drugs, and the ECDC reported 106 cases in 13 European countries by the end of March 2011. In late 2010, there were only 77 cases in the same 13 countries. In August 2010, there were patients in South Asia and Britain discovered with the NDM-1 gene.

Experts say doctors are largely to blame for the overuse of antibiotics leading to abuse and eventually resistance. They say patients demand them without needing them and hospitals readily give them out.

Source: International Business Times



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Mother nature fights back
By lowsidex2 on 11/18/2011 1:06:46 PM , Rating: 3
We can fight her all we want but she will win. Over population trumps all the other world problems combined. Or rather, over population is the cause of all the other world problems. We've put up a good fight but there will be a world wide event that will attempt to bring balance back to nature. HIV, SARS, N1H1... some day something will hit that we can't control.




RE: Mother nature fights back
By geddarkstorm on 11/18/2011 1:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
Thankfully it isn't all bleak. We are always several steps ahead with our drug developments. And despite this article, there are more types of antibiotics than carbapenems or beta-lactams (penicillin family). Additionally, most types of antibiotic resistance (for instance, resistance against streptomycin), actually weaken the bacteria when in a non-antibiotic environment (streptomycin resistant bacteria have a much lower production speed of proteins than non, making them grow slower and compete less). So, out in nature, resistance is very low in the population--it's just in hospitals and cities where antibiotics are being misused everywhere that the frequency of resistance is being greatly increased due to the constant selective pressure we are imposing, without giving a breather for the non resistant bacteria to come back and take over the population.

In short, if we stop using a type of antibiotic for awhile, bacteria become resensitized to it. Now, this isn't always or completely true (I'm looking at you tuberculosis), but it does come to our aid.

None the less, if we didn't misuse antibiotics, we wouldn't be selecting for these superbugs (at least not at this rate) in the first place. We really need, as a world, to address this issue before we do start falling behind...


RE: Mother nature fights back
By Ringold on 11/18/2011 5:27:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We can fight her all we want but she will win.


Like nature won with polio! Oh, wait.

quote:
Over population trumps all the other world problems combined. Or rather, over population is the cause of all the other world problems.


How do you get from the root problem of the article, that people take antibiotics too freely and drug companies have little incentive to create new ones, to over population? If a smaller population still took too many antibiotics, the problem would be the same. I think you're stretching to try to drag out an old, disproved Malthusian theory.

quote:
some day something will hit that we can't control.


On the over populated point, the black death hit at a time of a much smaller population, so thats independent of population level. To the control point.. if its virulent enough and becomes quickly apparently, I don't see how the CDC and its global counterparts couldn't limit an outbreak to some number of countries or a continent. Not that millions couldn't die, but I don't know if a black death level event is as likely as it once was. All these extra humans over time that cause all the problems in your view have also been busily advancing technology and various social institutions over the centuries since then.


RE: Mother nature fights back
By derricker on 11/19/2011 7:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Like nature won with polio! Oh, wait.


The 8 new cases of polio detected in pakistan this year would like to laugh at your stupid and sarcastic comment, the whole point is precisely that, no matter how much humanity "advances" (you were being sarcastic with that one too, eh?) it can't beat nature.

quote:
How do you get from the root problem of the article, that people take antibiotics too freely and drug companies have little incentive to create new ones, to over population? If a smaller population still took too many antibiotics, the problem would be the same. I think you're stretching to try to drag out an old, disproved Malthusian theory.


No, actually, there is a proven link with overpopulation and the rise of diseases.

quote:
Not that millions couldn't die, but I don't know if a black death level event is as likely as it once was. All these extra humans over time that cause all the problems in your view have also been busily advancing technology and various social institutions over the centuries since then.


If you take in account how an institution like the CDC or it's global counterparts handle a pandemic situation, the death of billions is almost guaranteed, after all, that's what all those technology advancements are best used for by the various social (and political) institutions.


"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki