Save Us From Superbugs

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posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 07:37 PM
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It is sad to say, but true, that the US superscience tends to produce as many of the bad as it does the good.

Always go with the simplest of solutions, even if it doesnt offer all the wonderful bells and whistles.


Russian researcher Alexander Sulakvelidze came to the U.S. after Communism ended because "There was nothing left to do. Good scientists would come to work and spend all day playing cards and chess." When he arrived at the University of Maryland Medical Center, he discovered the hospital was in the midst of a crisis that Soviet scientists had already solved.
Richard Martin writes in Wired that the Enterococcus bacteria was showing signs of resistance to vancomycin, the antibiotic of last resort. Between 1992 and 1994, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) infected 75 patients, killing 6 of them. 20% of the patients had VRE in their bloodstreams. The cause of the epidemic was an overuse of antibiotics.

www.unknowncountry.com...




posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by dragonrider
The cause of the epidemic was an overuse of antibiotics.

I've read a medical report quite a few years ago that stated that doctors in the US were loathe to issue antibiotics from the current freezer-storage facilities to innoculate individual patients...Though stocks of antibiotics were huge & expensive to maintain, they were being kept until there might be needed for a mass-innoculation of the public.

The reason that they were loathe to issue certain antibiotics to *individual patients* is because any baterial infection that manages to survive treatment stands a good chance of mutating & breeding into a form more resistant to that specific antibiotic. If too much of a specific antibiotic was issued to patients on an indiviual basis, then the bacteria would have a good chance of mutating into a resistant strain & become an epidemic...Which would render the current stores of antibiotics useless...



posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 10:37 PM
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This is a very real issue.

The county jail in my area has had reports of serious health problems. It seems that an extremely drug resistant strain of Staph is circulating among prisoners, and they have had many (100+) cases where they will call prisoners "hands on the wall", and the prisoners will get infected from simply touching the walls... and with virtually no way to treat it.

There are other alternatives, but I suspect that the medical community doesnt like to stray from the antibiotics routine for a financial reason: not much to gain if you cannot make money on your more profitable products.

I read in the SAS survival manual that an SAS team somewhere in SE Asia were working with local tribes, including providing medical assistance, and for some reason were restricted from using antibiotics on the population. The medic in the group soon found that an extremely high concentration of sugar water had very antiseptic effects as there is no known bacteria that can survive in a 60% sugar solution.



posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 11:00 PM
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antibiotic-resistant diseases are so scary, and not many people realize the impact they will have once they become prevelant. antibiotics are no longer the wonder drugs they were in the 1940s, and they might not be a worthwhile drug at all in the near future.

the bacteriophages mentioned in the article are a great idea, but care must be taken in their use so we dont' see bacteriophage resistance. the last thing we need is bacteria that can eat the bacteria eating viruses. and if someone engineers the bacteriophages to carry a disease instead of a cure...well, it opens a large can of worms.

[Edited on 9/24/2003 by MorningtonCrescent]



posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 11:08 PM
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I did a project on bacteriophages. One of the best things about them are that they are cheap and easy to produce. But perhaps using phages takes weight off of antibiotics and lets some of the resistance to them fade away. But all I can say for now is: God save us all. This problem is not yet evident to the masses. And it has to be before it is to late.



posted on Sep, 24 2003 @ 02:29 AM
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Quoted by MorningtonCrescent
antibiotic-resistant diseases are so scary, and not many people realize the impact they will have once they become prevelant. antibiotics are no longer the wonder drugs they were in the 1940s, and they might not be a worthwhile drug at all in the near future.


The big problem with using antibiotics to treat bacterial infections is that, if the bacteria mutates to be more resistant to it's corresponding antibiotic, the doctors have to engineer a brand new antibiotic to treat the *new strain* of bacteria...This is why the *current* stocks of antibiotics may not be useful in the case of an epidemic. They can only stock up on antibiotics for treating *known* bacteria.

Engineering a new antibiotic can be done reasonably quickly & easily (if that's what you happen to be doing with your life anyway, have the facilities & time to do it)...The trick is the cost & effort it takes to make large enough quantities in a short enough time to treat an epidemic. This is why they're trying to preserve the antibiotics they have available without overusing them enough to *cause* bacteria to mutate, thus rendering the rest of their stocks useless.

...A vicious circle...





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