Posted by: msmc4 | March 30, 2010

Worse than Swine Flu?

Penicillin is one of the most well-known and widely used antibiotic around the world. Doctors prescribe penicillin for hundreds of infectious diseases. Unfortunately, researchers have come to the conclusion that penicillin and other similar antibiotics will eventually become obsolete. In other words, they will no longer have an effect on bacteria.

Why is this happening? According to Dr. Holloway of the World Health Organization (WHO), over-prescription and mis-prescribing by doctors; insufficient duration of treatment and misuse of antibiotics by patients; and the use of antibiotics as growth hormones all contribute to antibiotic resistance. An example of this can be found in France, Spain, and Romania. In these countries, doctors and pharmacists have been overprescribing antibiotics to patients without first determining the agent. Because antibiotics were wrongly prescribed, it resulted in the increased emergence of drug resistant diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, dysentery, and MRSA.

Due to the lack of new antibiotics, a person’s immune system is sometimes the only defense against drug resistant diseases. Because there are policies restricting the amount of time antibiotics can be used, pharmaceutical companies no longer find antibiotics as a profitable business when compared to chronic diseases. As a result, research and development of antibiotics are no longer keeping up with the development of resistance organisms.

In a CNN article, the author states that governments need to provide incentives for companies to develop new antibiotics. What kind of programs do you believe would promote the research and development of new antibiotics?

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Responses

  1. This is a really serious problem. We talked a lot about it in one of my microbiology classes and the different generations of resistance bacteria. Scary stuff…

  2. The reason is evolution. Disease viruses evovlve and become more resistant to drugs. It is a serious problem.

  3. Before prescribing antibiotics to treat certain bacterial infection,prior to,there should be bacterial culture from a related biops so a to be sure to a specific antibiotic for that bacterial infection instead of trial and errors which ends with resistants to antibiotics.
    also pharmaceutical companies must be motivated when conducting a research.


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