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Antibiotic Resistance

~~ Antibiotic Resistance ~~ A timely guest post from my good friend and old med school classmate @_sequoiadendron_ : In all of medicine, the single greatest invention has been antibiotics. No other kind of medicine or technology has come close to saving as many lives. The figure above, published in JAMA, attempts to demonstrate this claim.

The unfortunate truth however is that we now have bacteria growing resistance to many classes of antibiotics. In fact, there actually exist strains of bacteria resistant to every single antibiotic ever developed. When these patients come to the hospital, their doctors literally have no option but to watch them die slowly from their infection. This sets medicine back 80 years.

Antibiotic development is diminishing within the US for various political, economic, and social reasons. Most pharmaceutical companies have withdrawn R&D dollars for antibiotic research. The result is that EVERY antibiotic we have now is slowly but surely becoming obsolete via bacterial resistance and there are hardly any new ones that will take their place. The problem of microbial drug resistance will plague medicine until politicians, pharmaceutical companies, physicians, hospitals, agricultural corporations, and the general public actually do something about it.

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