Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/27/2013 (7 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A new beginning in the antibiotics industry is due, but not without more death in the meantime.

Game over, the bacteria have already won. It is now just a matter of time, perhaps years, until antibiotics as we know them are eliminated from use. Rapidly evolving bacteria have defeated the slow-paced innovations of pharmaceutical companies, becoming resistant to virtually all efforts to treating them.

Bacteria are winning the war because they evolve faster than the drugs developed to fight them.

Bacteria are winning the war because they evolve faster than the drugs developed to fight them.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/27/2013 (7 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: antibiotics, drugs, resistance, disease, bacteria


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nobody's saying there's no future for antibiotics-on the contrary, we will need to develop an entirely new generation of the wondrous drugs if we are to regain the upper hand against bacterial infections. However, for now we are losing the competition, quite badly.

Bacteria are an example of Darwin's theory at work. Each generation of bacteria produces offspring which are slightly varied. Some of those variations can make a bacteria resistant to antibiotics to which it is exposed. Since it is resistant, it survives the dose and produces more offspring, most of which carry the resistance. Before long, every bacteria has the resistance, the non-resistant ones having become entirely extinct.

This is evolution in action and it is the reason why pharmaceutical companies must constantly develop newer, more powerful antibiotics to fight bacteria. Unfortunately, the process for developing a new antibiotic and bringing it to market can take years. Bacteria can evolve within a matter of days.

Alexander Fleming, who developed penicillin and won a Nobel Prize for his work talked about antibiotic resistance. "It is not difficult to make microbes resistant," he wrote,  "to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them. There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant."

Fleming's nightmare has finally come true. After decades of overuse of antibiotics, using them improperly, over-prescription, and under utilization in some cases, we now have resistant bacteria.

In our moder, densely-packed world, the right disease, or combination of diseases, could bring apocalyptic-scale devestation to entire cities. This isn't science fiction as much as it threatens to be science future. 

Farm animals are also a chief source of resistant bacteria. Ranchers vaccinate their herds, and since the 1950s they have been giving low doses of antibiotics to help increase the sizes of their animals. These low doses kept bacteria in check, but did not eliminate infections entirely.  Animals grew larger, and bacteria became resistant.

Currently over 80 percent of all antibiotic use is in farm animals, not people.

Now, antibiotic resistant bacteria can even be found in the wild. Even sharks have been found with antibiotic-resistant infections.

Earlier this year, a patient in New Zealand died from a bacterial infection known as "KPC-Oxa 48." That bacteria is resistant to every known type of antibiotic. There is nothing either on the shelf or in the lab that can kill it.

The numbers of such bacteria are growing. So are the deaths. According to the CDC, at least 23,000 people die annually in the U.S. from resistant bacteria. That's over sixty people per day.

Now here's the bad news.

Financially, antibiotics are losing bets for pharmaceutical companies. On average, a new antibiotic costs $1 billion to develop and bring to market. Antibiotics lose about $50 million on average. So who wants to pay a billion to lose fifty million?

Thanks to this curious fact, the result of byzantine health regulations and bureaucracy, there are no antibiotics coming online anytime soon to combat the current crop of emerging bacteria.

We're speeding our demise by merrily vaccinating animals and humans at whim.

In time, resistant bacteria will become major killers and more people will be willing to pay more money for antibiotics that work. Until then, the bacteria will continue to win, and to spread.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Health

SURPRISE! Study finds that obese kids in the U.S. see themselves as being skinny! Watch

Image of Curiously, researchers found that some obese children even believed that they were underweight.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Should it come as a surprise - or just another sad comment on the prevalence of obesity in the United States? A new study has found that children who are overweight or obese don't see themselves as being so. Researchers and medical experts says this needs to ... continue reading


NEW FEARS: Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome may be transmitted through air Watch

Image of In their research, scientists from King Fahd Medical Research Center in Saudi Arabia collected three air samples from a camel barn.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are new fears that the rapidly spreading virus, Middle Eastern respiratory The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS, may be an airborne virus - making the disease highly easy to transmit, and get. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - To ... continue reading


Light at end of tunnel? HIV epidemic could be contained by 2030 Watch

Image of While HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, continues to be an ongoing threat - more so in developing nations where education about its transmission is compromised, there now appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, continues to be an ongoing threat - more so in developing nations where education about its transmission is compromised, there now appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel. According to the United Nations, new HIV ... continue reading


Dye now being used to detect dementia Watch

Image of Researchers from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, tested 152 patients older than 50 years of age to see if they could predict cognitive decline by tracking changes in the brain.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dementia, like Alzheimer's is a disease that usually effects the elderly. In the manner of Alzheimer's plaque begins to collect in the brain at an advanced age. This drastically effects the patient's memory, cognitive ability and motor skills, with many winding ... continue reading


Breakthrough announced in hereditary condition that causes blindness Watch

Image of The age at which symptoms start is variable and the rate of deterioration often varies. In around half of all cases there are other family members with the condition.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retinitis pigmentosa, or RP is an inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and frequently leads to blindness. Affecting around one in 3,000 to 4,000 people, scientists have moved closer to a breakthrough in "personalized" ... continue reading


Deadly plague than can be spread by coughing, sneezing infects Colorado man Watch

Image of Untreated plague is always fatal. Antibiotics have to be given within 24 hours of the first symptoms to reduce the chance of death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's the first case of pneumonic plague seen in Colorado since 2004. A man there has been diagnosed with among the rarest and most fatal forms of the plague, an airborne version that can be spread through coughing and sneezing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Sighs of relief after vials of smallpox found Watch

Image of The FBI is investigating how the samples ended up where they did.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were sighs of relief when someone made a discovery in a disused closet. Many thanked the Lord that it didn't fall into the wrong hands. An employee at the National Institutes of Health found vials of smallpox, the onetime scourge of humanity, in a storage ... continue reading


Birth control computer chip implanted under the skin 'could be on sale by 2018' Watch

Image of An international coalition of governments, companies, philanthropies and nonprofit organizations committed to providing family planning to 120 million more women in the world by 2020.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Long in gestation, the idea of a computer chip implanted under the skin to regulate fertility is now within throwing distance of becoming an actuality. The idea has been with us since the Nineties, and thanks to a nudge from Microsoft's Bill Gates, such as ... continue reading


New blood test could determine onset of Alzheimer's Watch

Image of The new blood test, which examines 10 proteins in the blood, can predict with 87 percent accuracy whether someone suffering memory problems will develop Alzheimer's within a year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The memory-destroying condition known as Alzheimer's, preying chiefly on the elderly, has no known cure. However, after a decade of research, scientists at Oxford University and King's College London have identified 10 proteins that arise when a patient is due ... continue reading


How one fungus may stop superbugs Watch

Image of A compound taken from a fungus may prove capable of stopping drug-resistant suberbugs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new discovery out of Canada may prove an invaluable weapon in fighting antibiotic resistant and dangerous bacteria. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists at McMaster University in Ontario discovered a compound that instantly turned off a gene in several ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 25th, 2014 Image

St. James the Greater
July 25: For James there was no indication that this was the day that his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter