Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Topics in this category pertain to planning. Discussions include how to prepare yourself, your family and your community for catastrophes and what you plan to do when they hit you.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
raptor
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 16910
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Location: Greater New Orleans Area

Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by raptor » Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:32 pm

I saw this article and assumed it was the usual scare headline and went to a source document to review it and was rapidly well past the basic knowledge level I have on the subject.

I have been reading about the soon to be "post-antibiotic era" for quite a few years. It seems like it and cold fusion have the same timetable ... within the next decade...always within the next decade.

That said, clearly there is some real concern over the issue.

Accordingly I thought I would put these questions to the ZS hive mind:

Does the possibility of a "post-antibiotic era" exist at reasonable probability levels? If so what is a probable time frame?

If it has a reasonable probability of occurring, what are the likely threats/risk we would face (beyond the obvious of dying from infection)?

Is there anything we can do to prepare for it? This is a risk where stockpiling would not be effective since (ignoring deterioration of stockpiles due to time) anything that may be stored would be ineffective.

Alternatively, is this like "Peak Oil" a reasonable fear based upon logic but one which technology and innovation are likely to keep at bay for quite some time and thus simply a headline grabber for tin foil hat wearers?

The source article that left me puzzled (note it does require a subscription).
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanin ... 7/abstract
The world is on the cusp of a "post-antibiotic era", scientists have warned after finding bacteria resistant to drugs used when all other treatments have failed.
They identified bacteria able to shrug off the drug of last resort - colistin - in patients and livestock in China.
They said that resistance would spread around the world and raised the spectre of untreatable infections.
It is likely resistance emerged after colistin was overused in farm animals.
Bacteria becoming completely resistant to treatment - also known as the antibiotic apocalypse - could plunge medicine back into the dark ages
Initial Source:
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-34857015



edited for clarification:

I have been PM'ed about this statement
raptor wrote: Alternatively, is this like "Peak Oil" a reasonable fear based upon logic ...
For the record I do not agree with the many Peak Oil arguments. That said the logic I am referring to in this statement is the simple basic logic of finite supply.

In the case of this thread the base logic is similar. Since organisms evolve to become resistant, it is logical to assume at some point, we will run out of variations of medications to deal with these evolutionary variations.

I am not saying that the logic is correct or true, simply that it is a reasonable premise that does have basic foundation of logic.
Last edited by raptor on Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

OTTB
* * * * *
Posts: 1204
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:10 am

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by OTTB » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:41 pm

I've slightly followed this topic with mild interest. I think it's a realistic possibility that eventually there will be a completely drug resistant virus one day. However I think it's also fairly remote as medical science continues to update and improve medicine. I think eventually it will be more alone the lines of the medication combinations will end up being worse than what you are trying to treat. Like the commercials you see on tv where the side effects almost seem worse than the condition you're treating. I recall a medicine commercial and one of the side effects was an increased risk for cancer. I'd rather have my seasonal allergies thank you.
If you cant run, you walk, if you cant walk you crawl, if you cant crawl pray the zombies dont find you.

B&Q
*
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:23 pm

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by B&Q » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:02 pm

Two problems as I see it.

1) Needless or over-prescribing of existing antibiotics increasing risk of resistance developing. Some countries allow these to be bought over the counter without prescription.

2) Lack of R&D into new antibiotics to replace the current crop of antibiotics of last resort. No drug company will invest in something that the medical profession would only use as a last resort.

I suspect that tax-payers across the world will need to pump-prime R&D and guarantee profits to move things forward. A few quid a year out of my pocket would be a small price to pay to stay on top of bacterial infection.

ETA : I'm shocked that human antibiotics of last resort have been used in animals.
Prof Walsh is meeting both the agricultural and health ministries this weekend to discuss whether colistin should be banned for agricultural use.

Prof Laura Piddock, from the campaign group Antibiotic Action, said the same antibiotics "should not be used in veterinary and human medicine".

User avatar
TacAir
* * * * *
Posts: 8072
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:01 pm
Contact:

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by TacAir » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:43 pm

"It is likely resistance emerged after colistin was overused in farm animals."

Until this changes, we are on a slope that leads only to...death.
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

grumpyviking
* * *
Posts: 472
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 5:47 am
Location: rural UK

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by grumpyviking » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:10 am

more and more bugs are becoming antibiotic resistant due to over prescribing, pretty soon they will all be.
I prefer natural remedies, modern medicines have too many side effects anyway.
Survive, Adapt & Evolve .

User avatar
duodecima
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 2951
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:18 pm

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by duodecima » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:24 am

Tagged. I've seen these articles go by but haven't had time to read more than headlines. It seems to be a slighly popular social media thing, it was getting hyped as "people will die" in my twitter feed. Newsflash, antibiotic resistance ain't new and people have been dying for years now.

Without having read the article, I think we're going to see a renewed emphasis on illness we DON'T need antibiotics for all the time - ear infections, sinus infections, bronchitis spring to mind. We almost never catch pertussis in time to really do some good (b/c you need antibiotics before the cough starts to change things for that patient) and while babies can and do die of it the rest of us mostly never do.

Humanity hasn't had antibiotics for most of it's existance. Even things like simple UTI's which are absolutely treated with antibiotics aren't serious or fatal in the majority of otherwise healthy younger patients even if they're untreated. Now, sometimes they are! But we're not looking at a mass die-off here, just an increase in the rate of problems that are complicated to treat or not treatable with antibiotics.

Veterinary/agricultural use of antibiotics is a whole 'nother topic for sure, TacAir... There are some new regulations coming on line about that (I can't remember if it's this Jan 1 or next year...)

(I'll read the articles eventually, I swear!
"When someone shows you who they are believe them" M. Angelou

User avatar
mzmc
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2015 2:17 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Started out with Resident Evil, but I got better.
Location: Germany

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by mzmc » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:21 pm

I'm scared shitless of resistant germs, but I'd still like to point out one thing:

Imagine most (or all) pathogenic bacteria suddenly became resistant to every antibiotic known to man. And for the sake of argument, let's say that resistance would extend to all antibiotics we could POTENTIALLY discover in the future.

The resulting "post-antibiotic" era would be nothing like the pre-antibiotic era at all.

We'd still a far better understanding on what causes infections and how to avoid them. The Germ Theory of Disease was the beginning of all wisdom, not the end of it.

We'd still have far better surface antiseptics, superior one-way equipment, aseptic surgical techniques, and general ideas of proper hygiene.

We'd still have far better disgnostic techniques (even though some of them do depend on antibiotics, but physiological tests, antibodies and imaging are the shit these days).

We'd still have really awesome prosthetics, in case of amputation.

We'd still have enormously effective methods of intensive care. Sepsis doesn't have to be the end of it. People these days survive runaway infections that would have killed them 20 years ago. And not all of them end up braindamaged, like some would have you believe. People walk away from septic shock, thanks to the ICU.


The situation would suck for everyone in developing countries, where the general plan to deal with infections is often to throw cheap broadspectrum antibiotics at it untill it goes away.

It would also suck for the meat industry, and people like me who like to eat cheap animal products.


It would, most likely, not be the end of the world as we know it.
May contain traces of derp.

User avatar
doitnstyle1
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 1132
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:16 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: The Road, The Book of Eli, After the Dark
Location: Western Slope, Colorado

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by doitnstyle1 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:16 pm

I just found this and it might provide an answer that we may or may not have been expecting. I suspect the previous.

http://qz.com/554337/this-could-be-the- ... PL&ref=yfp

We or a terrorist could effectively produce a new strain that could essentially destroy all life as we know it. Think of "12 Monkey's" scenario. The radical scientist unleashed it to bring an end to the corrupt world as he saw it.

We may produce it in trying to "develop a vaccine" and it would escape because we have all seen "The Stand' and similar movies and we know how inept our government can be when handling anthrax spores! So yeah, I think we could very easily see that happening in a few years.
"All religious stuff aside, the fact is people who can't kill will always be subject to those who can." - Brad "Iceman" Colbert, Generation Kill

Image

User avatar
jor-el
* * * * *
Posts: 5209
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:42 am
Location: Watching over Metropolis

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by jor-el » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:37 pm

"Kryptonian" bacteria.

I'm not buying it.
Every form of life operates by certain rules, especially carbon based. Cellular biology still determines how a single cell life form eats, breathes, eliminates waste products, reproduces. Interfere with any of these processes and bacteria lives out its short life span and dies.
The trick is finding something that doesn't do this to the patient/host. For example, gamma radiation in large doses just about kills every form of microbe. It also does a good job of killing people and animals too, therefore not an ideal solution.
What to do, what to do... poison! A poison that only affects bacteria. That's what antibiotics are at the core. So why a constant change in available antibiotics?

Evolution. Bacteria, viruses and other single cell life go through constant change to survive antibodies and other single cell life. Bacteria resistant to today's antibiotics are inevitable, therefore research into new ones is a never ending battle.
My son, you will travel far, but never be alone, for I am with you, my M14 and battle axe comfort you.

User avatar
DarkAxel
* * * * *
Posts: 3828
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:25 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: The Evil Dead Series, Dawn of the Dead, Shawn of the Dead, NOTLD, Resident Evil Series
Location: Jackson, KY
Contact:

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by DarkAxel » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:51 pm

What we are seeing is natural selection in action, and it is inevitable that any single antibiotic will lose efficacy over time. It's the classic arms race of offense and defense writ on a genetic scale. Personally, I think terms like "post-antibiotic era" are alarmist clickbait, because the profit motive to develop novel antibiotic treatments will increase alongside resistant strains of bacteria.
vyadmirer wrote:Call me the paranoid type, but remember I'm on a post apocalyptic website prepared for zombies.
Fleet #: ZS 0180

Browncoat

Imma Fudd, and proud of it.

ZS Wiki

CrossCut
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:32 am

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by CrossCut » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:12 pm

jor-el wrote: What to do, what to do... poison! A poison that only affects bacteria. That's what antibiotics are at the core. So why a constant change in available antibiotics?
Heard it said, maybe here at ZS?, that all drugs are just poisons to produce a desired therapeutic effect.

User avatar
duodecima
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 2951
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:18 pm

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by duodecima » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:15 pm

DarkAxel wrote:What we are seeing is natural selection in action, and it is inevitable that any single antibiotic will lose efficacy over time. It's the classic arms race of offense and defense writ on a genetic scale. Personally, I think terms like "post-antibiotic era" are alarmist clickbait, because the profit motive to develop novel antibiotic treatments will increase alongside resistant strains of bacteria.
*disclaimer still haven't had time to read the article!!!*

Not nearly as much as other classes of drugs tho - it's generally stated as one of the reasons more haven't been developed. There are older, cheaper antibiotics that still work decently for the majority of infections. Because of both awareness of loosing the effectiveness of new antibiotics by over use and because of cost considerations - new antibiotics are on-patent and generally bloody expensive - those new antibiotics that required all that money to develop aren't used very often (relative to other conditions, such as medications for stomach acid, acne, depression, pain, etc) and therefore even with exorbitant pricing don't bring in the kind of return on investment that a company would want to see. Plus there's a lot of scrutiny of new antibiotics for side effects - and if they have them that might wipe them out of use. (Google Trovan and Ketek for examples)

Even with the rise of C-MRSA (community-acquired methcillin resistant staph), we just switched our choices of old antibiotics, and that's keeping us out of trouble 99.9% of the time for the last 10-15 years.

Also, not always "inevitable" that any single antibiotic will loose efficacy over time. Penicillin is still the gold standard for syphilis and for Group A Strep (strep throat). Sulfa drugs, the next oldest category, are still widely used, especially if we're worried about C-MRSA. Some other conditions you have to be aware of local resistance patterns but we use them a lot for urinary/kidney infections still. Resistance rates do go down for an organism if a community decreases its use of a particular antibiotic over several years.

Completely agree that "post-antibiotic era" is mostly clickbait tho.
"When someone shows you who they are believe them" M. Angelou

User avatar
duodecima
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 2951
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:18 pm

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by duodecima » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:27 pm

OK! Read the article. And then read the editorial and another article that's more worthy of the click-bait headline than this one. (From a microbiology standpoint it's really interesting tho.) And then another article that exemplifies the reason this isn't going to kill us all even tho it causes problems. All in the same issue of Lancet Infectious Disease, which was specifically organized for World Antibiotic Awareness Week last week. I'll briefly review all of the articles I mentioned .

The problem's the same as it's always been, this is a new development but not a disaster, and I am unimpressed with the BBC's science journalism on this one.

So here's the link to the editorial from last month http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanin ... 1/abstract All Lancet links are paywalled, I'm including them anyway because you can at least see the abstracts or the intro, and since anyone who's a student may have access thru their university.
More importantly, here's the link to the WHO report on the state of antibiotics which is a huge doc and long to load but free! http://cddep.org/publications/state_wor ... otics_2015

The first paper! The original one Raptor posted.

So, colestin from the family of antibiotics that includes bacitracin and polymyxin (2 of the things in neosporin, neomycin's the other.) It's got some fairly lousy side effects (tries to kill your kidneys) so it's not used internally for people EXCEPT for some situations with multi-drug resistant bacteria (pseudomonas, klebsiella). Basically it's not a great drug exactly but sometimes it's the only one left that a bacteria is sensitive too.

Bacteria have things called plasmids that they can transmit to each other by conjugating (think of this like having kids with 2 parents instead of just cloning themselves like they usually do) which increases their genetic diversity. A plasmid gene encoding for colestin resistance is now becoming much more common. The agricultural use of colestin is actually highly relevant here because the human use is almost nil - only in very ill patients when nothing else is working. Remove any evolutionary pressure that favors that plasmid, and the spread becomes slower and much more random. Constantly keep killing lots of bacteria that aren't resistant to colestin and all of a sudden this gene becomes the norm. So feeding it to cows to help them put on extra weight for market, etc? Basically the cause of this particular problem. It may seem hipster but antibiotic-free meat/dairy has a point.

Yes, if you have MDR pseudomonas this is maybe a problem but the vast majority of pseudomonas (and klebsiella) are not MDR (multi-drug resistant).

There's a "Comment" (basically a short editorial) accompanying the article, which does state :
In 2012, WHO reclassified colistin as critically important for human medicine.8 This classification remains true despite the ongoing development of new antibiotics against multiply resistant Gram negative bacilli. There have been previous calls for curtailing the use of polymyxins in agriculture.9 We must all reiterate these appeals and take them to the highest levels of government or face increasing numbers of patients for whom we will need to say, “Sorry, there is nothing I can do to cure your infection”.
(Online only, I can't get link without going thru my university access)

Now, the second paper and comment! Abstract http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanin ... 1/abstract
Comment : http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanin ... 5/abstract

Some epidemiology folks took what data there is for rates of cancer treatment related infections and surgical site infections for procedures where we give antibiotics to prevent infection after chemo or surgery (eg joint replacements, appendixes, colon removals, cesarean sections). They then looked at the rates of resistance of the bacteria likely to cause each of those infections, and how many of kinds of those procedures are done in the US each year, and then projected how many additional surgical infections and how many additional related deaths we would see if resistance rates increased by 10%, 20%, 30% etc. They found that if : (from the accompanying comment)
They conclude that a 30% reduction in the efficacy of surgical and oncological prophylaxis would be disastrous, resulting in an additional 120 000 surgical site infections and 6300 infection-related deaths in the USA every year.
Now, that's Not Good. A 30% increase in resistance is not out of the ballpark especially if nothing changes. Bad for the people involved and costly to a health care system that's already straining the limits of its budget. But not "the post-antibiotic era" either.

One mitigating factor however, is going to be looking at how many of those surgeries we actually have to do. The cesarean rate in this country is demonstrably higher than it ought to be for the health of moms&babies. We do a TON of knee replacements, some of which we could delay or perhaps prevent with other measures. That would not 'fix' a situation like the one being modelled, but it would ameliorate it somewhat.

In the same issue, a third article and comment that demonstrates what kind of change it can take to bend this curve for the better: (still paywall but) Comment :http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanin ... 3/abstract
Article abstract : http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanin ... 1/abstract
Quote from the comment, about the results of a nationally funded Scottish program for AntiMicrobial Stewardship [AMS].
Next, restrictive measures were used, including removal of targeted antibiotics from ward stock and requiring of authorisation for use from an infectious diseases expert. We and others have suggested antibiotic release by experts in AMS as a way to ensure appropriate use of our antibiotic resources.5 and 6 This approach not only resulted in an abrupt and permanent reduction in targeted antibiotic hospital use within 4 months of implementation, but also led to a gradual, but permanent, reduction in community use of antibiotics.1 Notably, hospital-based interventions were indirectly associated with a 32% reduction in community MRSA infections. Furthermore, AMS in primary care was estimated to have prevented more than 3000 community MRSA cases. This raises the question of whether high rates of antibiotic use in the hospital setting drive community rates of MRSA. We believe that this finding should be a wakeup call to advocate for AMS in all health-care settings.
These are administrative/public health measures, they don't require new discoveries or billions in R&D to develop.

TL;DR This is a problem. It is not a new problem, it just got somewhat worse in a slightly new fashion.

In terms of personal actions - those of us in health care need to practice both hygiene (wash your hands!!!) and antibiotic stewardship. Those not in healthcare - communicate with your providers. Studies show that providers percieve that patients want antibiotics when they're sick and will get mad if we don't give them. We perceive this to a greater degree than it is actually true - so be clear with your provider that you're not looking for antibiotics if you don't need them. If you're prescribed them, ask what would happen without antibiotics.

If you stockpile - I continue to not recommend this unless you are really, really, extremely, highly knowledgeble about prescribing (or at least have a situation where you're highly knowledgeble about antibiotics in that specific situation.)

Also
[pedant warning!]
I think it's a realistic possibility that eventually there will be a completely drug resistant virus one day.
Antibiotics work on bacteria, not viruses. None of this is talking about viruses.

Drugs that work on viruses are called antivirals. There's a LOT of viruses out there we do not and never have had antivirals that work on them. (Ebola, people, remember that one?) Now, antiviral resistance is a big but different problem. No agricultural use that I'm aware of. But some viruses mutate so damn fast that resistance is quickly bred in. This is a huge issue with both influenza and HIV. [/pedant warning!]

(edit to fix minor errors/omission)
"When someone shows you who they are believe them" M. Angelou

User avatar
turbo6
* *
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:54 pm
Location: NC, USA

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by turbo6 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:51 pm

I think generally our practitioners over prescribe antibiotics. Patient walks in the office with a sniffle and walks out with a Zpak. Happens all the time. Pair that with an overly sterile society and yes, problems with arise.

Obviously our natural immunities with suffer and not to mention we'll eventually face problems our conventional medicines won't fix.

User avatar
Mountainsquid
* * *
Posts: 347
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:34 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead(Snyder), Zombieland
Location: The Capital Wasteland

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by Mountainsquid » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:44 am

raptor wrote: Does the possibility of a "post-antibiotic era" exist at reasonable probability levels? If so what is a probable time frame?
Honestly, I think it's more likely than a "natural"(as in, not weaponized germs) viral pandemic ever will be. How likely and how soon? I'd say greater than 50/50 chance next 20 years.

Buuuuuuttt....
If it has a reasonable probability of occurring, what are the likely threats/risk we would face (beyond the obvious of dying from infection)?

Is there anything we can do to prepare for it? This is a risk where stockpiling would not be effective since (ignoring deterioration of stockpiles due to time) anything that may be stored would be ineffective.

Fortunately, I saw this article. Basically...the immunity to conventional anti-biotics is gonna happen. It seems clear that there are various labs taking another track though for anti-biotics which is pretty promising. IOW, by the time there's widespread immunity to conventional anti-biotics there seems like there's gonna be other options on the table. So, I'm pretty optimistic.

grumpyviking
* * *
Posts: 472
Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 5:47 am
Location: rural UK

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by grumpyviking » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:36 am

family doctors tend to hand these things out like candy to "the worried well" for every minor cough and sniffle so its not surprising they are becoming non effective.
Survive, Adapt & Evolve .

User avatar
Evan the Diplomat
* * * * *
Posts: 2207
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:48 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Savageland
Location: Fairfax, VA

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:31 pm

Yes, I consider this threat to be real, but I will make the following caveat, it won't be all antibiotics (hereafter referred to as ABs to save me the typing) but it will be AB resistant bacteria.

How did we get here? Evolution/natural selection. Best example, AB resistant tuberculosis. Most people track AB resistant TB back to Russia. Many people in close confines, lack of resources so sick patients could not be isolated and active patients were not given full courses of treatment or full doses.

Imagine that the ABs wipe out 80% of the bacteria in the first 7 days, but you don't get the next 7 days so the bacteria grow back.

Have you noticed that sticker on your medicine bottle that says "finish this and all medications" that's what it's about. Adding ABs to livestock can't be a good thing, while I'm unsure that the ABs will pass from food to me, bacteria can jump from livestock to humans can become AB resistant so why mess with that.

Next we have medical practices handing out sample ABs or prescribing ABs for viral infections (I'm told those don't work on viruses/virii).

Lastly, sharing ABs. My coworker wanted to give me some of the ABs he was taking for his diverticulitis to treat my similar but different condition.

So to recap, will all ABs stop working in the next 10-20 years, no. Will be see new bacterial diseases that eat our current AB Arsenal for breakfast. Absolutely!
Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody happy as the dead come home

Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No-one move a muscle as the dead come home

User avatar
raptor
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 16910
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Location: Greater New Orleans Area

Re: Are We on the Cusp of 'Post-Antibiotic Era'?

Post by raptor » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:42 am

Thank you for the very informative posts. As I mentioned i remember similar claims of a post antibiotic era being a few years away starting with rumors of STDS that were resistant to penicillin in the early 70's from vets coming back from Vietnam.

The claims started again when AIDS was first recognized (yes I know AIDS is not treated with antibiotics but the claim popped up around the same time). So that brings us to the 80's or 30ish years ago. By now if you believed the story we would be reduced to using leeches again.

It seems that much like cold fusion, this era remains less than a decade away at least it has for 4 decades anyway. :D

My uninformed opinion is that nature will permit biologics to evolve to drugs that affect them. In turn we will evolve treatment. One key thing and this from a preparation stadard is something we should keep in mind. Basic hygiene can greatly reduce our risk to things that require treatment of antibiotics. In a PAW cleanliness can actually be a lifesaving activity. It obviously is not a guarantee and sure will not help you after you have a need for antibiotics. Still soap, a toothbrush and clean potable water will be useful. So plan accordingly.

Post Reply

Return to “Contingency Planning & Preparation”