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What?

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/11/end-abx/

 

“Post-antibiotic era” is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot these days, most of the time without people stopping to consider what it might really mean.

What is she talking about? I've never heard the phrase. When I searched for it the top result I found was also from Wired.com

What do you make of this? Also, New Zealand. Something about New Zealand. Yeah...

Edited by Ben Banana
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Since the article is clearly written and well structured and you have, I presume, actually read it, then I am at a loss to know what you are asking that is not already contained within the article.

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Since the article is clearly written and well structured and you have, I presume, actually read it, then I am at a loss to know what you are asking that is not already contained within the article.

It seems unrealistic. We'll always have soap (it removes bacteria, doesn't kill it), refridgeration, boiling water, alchohol, Ultraviolet sanitization, microwaves (yep, radiation in general) and most importantly: biological engineering and accelerated evolution. So, we're to blame for "anti-biotic resistant" bacteria. I'm sure we can also be to blame for evolving better "anti-biotics" if we tried. That seems very vague, anyway. Doesn't she mean anti-bacterial rather than generic anti-microbiotics? It seems she must only be talking about antibacterial medicine, because I'm strongly doubting the idea of bacteria that is so well-evolved, it can never be destroyed. The details "An organism that rejects every kind of antibiotic" seem pretty ambiguous to me. Besides that, this article seems to have the same speculative manicness of the classic paranoic super-epidemic news headline. "It lacks substance." :P

 

It seems reasonable to be skeptical. I'm aware there's extreme habitatual bacteria that can survive immense heat and radiation, but I'm quite sure we (humans) haven't driven them to evolve that way.

 

Does anyone know of better sources regarding this? I couldn't find any, which is the reason I was perplexed.

Edited by Ben Banana
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I don't have time to search out details right now, but this concept was, I thought, pretty weel known. It has been a growing concern for some years. I'm just en route back from Dubai and there was a local newspaper article there a day or two ago bemoaning the irresponsibel use of anti-biotics in the Emirates because it was leading towards exactly the sceanrios described in the article. And yes, we are absolutely driving the evolution of these resistant strains of bacteria. I should have thought that rather obvious just by consideration of natural selection coupled with a propensity for a proportion of the population to fail to complete a course of ABs.

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Does anyone know of better sources regarding this?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/10/4/l_104_03.html

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/10/frontline-asks-has-the-age-of-antibiotics-come-to-an-end.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hunting-the-nightmare-bacteria/

 

Also, here's a playlist of stuff:

 

Finally, here's a story about the Center for Disease Control (CDC) sharing that we've reached the end of antibiotics.

 

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/25/associate-director-at-centers-for-disease-control-weve-reached-the-end-of-antibiotics-period/

associate director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, said that “for a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about ‘The end of antibiotics, question mark?’ Well, now I would say you can change the title to ‘The end of antibiotics, period.’”

 

“We’re in the post-antibiotic era,” he continued. “There are patients for whom we have no therapy, and we are literally in a position of having a patient in a bed who has an infection, something that five years ago even we could have treated, but now we can’t.”

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  • 3 weeks later...

You're welcome.

 

 

The FDA, btw, recently announced changes to their policy regarding use of antibiotics at farms and phase out use for growth within 3 years, and the article below gives a really good overview of the entire topic. It discusses not just the crackdown on farm use of antibiotics, but also why it's so critical and what's been happening that's led us to where we are today.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/12/14/the-fda-is-cracking-down-on-antibiotics-at-farms-heres-what-you-should-know/

 

The basic problem here is pretty simple and worrisome. Antibiotics are utterly crucial for modern medicine. But they're also starting to lose their effectiveness: antibiotic-resistant bacteria are spreading fast and now kill at least 23,000 Americans each year.

 

One reason we're seeing so many new resilient bacterial strains from staph to strep to salmonella is that we're overusing the antibiotics we already have, scientists say. This gives bacteria more opportunities to evolve and essentially outsmart these drugs.

 

There are a number of culprits. Many doctors still over-prescribe antibiotics to their patients. But large farms are another place to look: By some estimates nearly 80 percent of all antibiotics in the United States are used on livestock, both to control disease and to plump up the animals. The FDA wants to phase out the use of antibiotics for animal growth over the next three years. It's also proposing greater veterinarian supervision of antibiotics. But critics say there are still plenty of loopholes here.

 

That's the quick summary. But there are lots of twists and complications. So here's an overview: <continue reading>

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Unfortunately, loopholes are really the big issue here. For the most part it appears to be voluntarily, something that has so far not impacted antibiotics use in livestock very much.

And very unfortunately farms are the single biggest source of antibiotics release into the environment. Costly changes in the the way livestock is being raised are likely consequences, and I fear most farmers would no go that route.

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  • 4 weeks later...

One of the biggest issues with antibiotics is certainly relating to the GI System. Antibiotics may be really disturbing the bacteria in the gut. There are more and more studies under the way concerning the enteric nervous system, which probably give us more clarity on how much antibiotics affect the human body as a whole.

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I think that may be not one of the strongest worries as the dose you get from environmental AB contamination is quite low. The biggest issue is really the spread of AB resistance.

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That could be the case and would make more sense than my interpretation (note: I did not neg rep the comment). That being said, it is quite well known that ABs have various toxic effects on the body (though obviously generally less than a severe infection). At the current point I do think that the gut biota is slightly overrated in their impact (it just happens to be a thing right now) considering that is getting modified quite a bit by your diet alone, for example.

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