Monday, August 16, 2010

Antibiotics on the verge of becoming completely useless

Posted by Neill Abayon

The journal Lancet Infectious Diseases recently published a sobering piece about how antibiotics are becoming wholly ineffective as treatments for infection. According to the report, even the most powerful antibiotics available are largely inadequate at tackling the emerging forms of new and powerful "super" bacteria.

Antibiotic overuse has become a pandemic problem. They are used in animal feed to make animals grow more quickly and they are handed out like candy by many doctors to people with almost any ailment. And they are simply not working anymore to fight infection.

Published by Professor Tim Walsh and his colleagues, the paper explains how a new gene called NDM 1 is changing the way infectious bacteria survive. The NDM 1 gene passes among bacteria like E. Coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae and makes them resistant to antibiotics. Even carbapenems, the most powerful antibiotics available, are no match for these new bacteria.

Read the full article here.