Scientists Say Era of Antibiotics Could Be Coming to An End
August 12, 2010
(ChattahBox) – Yesterday, we did a story about a drug-resistant bacteria from India that has been spreading more through the West since 2008. But a new report from the Lancet Infection Diseases showed that the issue is much more serious than that single study shows.
The Guardian reports that the era of antibiotics is just a few generations from passing, making the drugs once hailed as miracles against illness and infection soon to be obsolete.
This isn’t something that wasn’t expected; germs and bacteria are highly adaptable, able to use tactics of evolutionary transformation to make themselves stronger against the drugs that would otherwise eradicate them.
Because antibiotics are often given out too often for conditions that could eventually pass on their own, or where more natural remedies may actually be effective, we have been seeing more resistance developing from once easy-to-eliminate illnesses. This is posing a problem, as within a matter of a decade we could see the end of the use of the drugs.
And we don’t currently have anything to rely on to push into the next wave of medication.
“This is potentially the end,” Professor Tim Walsh, the professor and lead researcher in the study we posted about yesterday, said.
“There are no antibiotics in the pipeline that have activity against NDM 1-producing enterobacteriaceae [drug resistant bacteria from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh regions]. We have a bleak window of maybe 10 years, where we are going to have to use the antibiotics we have very wisely, but also grapple with the reality that we have nothing to treat these infections with.”
This shows a clear direction for drug manufacturers. There is nowhere to go but forward, in that we have no choice but spend the next 10 years that we have left trying to develop new antibiotics for the next wave of infections that will eventually sweep the world.